Nicole White and Rourke Holmes have been training adults. They volunteer with different organisations in the Erdington Constituency of the City of Birmingham to help they appreciate how young people view the world.
The aim is very simple, to improve the relationship between government services and the young people who use them in Erdington.
The Forum began in 2005 when the Erdington Constituency asked a group of young people to set up a consultation in the form of a questionnaire which asked about issues which affect them and their peers. One of the questions was, “Who would you prefer to ask you questions – children, or adults” – and all the children said adults. But it became clear adults lacked knowledge and how to engage with kids in the decision making process.
So the Children’s Forum made a training package for the adults looking at the benefits and barriers of involving children. The Children’s forum then tracked the progress made following the training every six months. They also ran a second training session. Over four years ECCF have reached over 258 adults and 486 children. This podcast, with Tom Sandars, was recorded just before the Local Hearts Awards October 2009 – where the group was shortlisted for the award for Young People’s Group.