Listening to young people

At SYC we know that young people and their families are the experts. They know what will make their own lives easier, so we make sure everything we do is based on what they tell us. We also make sure that their views are heard, to help influence and improve other services that they access.

SYC's Action Group

Our Action Group is for current (or recent) members of our service who want to have more of a say in running SYC. Young people who apply to join our Action Group get access to training courses, group work sessions, external voice and influence opportunities and accreditation. They join the group for one year at first, then take on more of a leader/mentor role for a second year if they wish, helping to support new members of the group.

People in this group have already: helped to recruit new staff; sat on several Young Carers Activity Fund panels; given presentations to strategic boards; helped to co-facilitate training courses; had a meeting with the Prime Minister; met with local MPs and city councillors; hosted our first national conference; helped to develop resources for local adult mental health services; and planned and participated in our annual strategic away days to help plan the future direction of SYC. We want to say a huge thank you to all of our Action Group members for the time and commitment they give – we couldn’t manage without you!

Other ways we listen

Alongside our Action Group, we try to give all of the young people we support a say in how things run, both within SYC and in other services too. We do this through:

  • individual and group evaluations

  • regular informal chats and conversations

  • involvement in local, regional and national consultations on issues that affect their lives

  • opportunities to meet MPs, funders (people who give money to SYC) and other people who can make changes for young carers and for young people affected by substance misuse in their family

  • invitations to events, to have a say in other services for young people and families

We also use all of the information we get directly from young people to inform our work with professionals, our strategic work and our research.