Me2 Club have updated our Power of Youth Charter for 2023 – 24 as part of our ongoing commitment to ensuring that young people with additional needs and disabilities have a voice.
Me2 Club’s Power of Youth Pledge 2023 – 2024
P – Prioritise supporting young people to take social action.
We will create opportunities that empower more young people, particularly from low-income and ethnic minority backgrounds, to be positive changemakers.
Background: Me2 Club is a charity supporting disabled children and young people aged 5 – 20 to participate in mainstream activities, a Youth Social Action group for ages 8 – 25 and a group for teenagers to meet together in Reading and Wokingham. We also run the Wokingham SEND Youth Forum for 8 – 25 year olds.
Me2 Club has created the following opportunities to empower our young people to make positive changes:
- Ensure children using our Core Service have a say in their Personal Profile, mainstream activity and choice of volunteer.
- Hold an annual young person’s Takeover Day to including young people taking over our social media to campaign and giving their views to the CEO and Trustees on the running of our charity.
- Run a SEND Youth Forum at least 6 times pa so that young people can coproduce at least 3 local service developments – the Local Offer, Autism Strategy and Preparing for Adulthood.
- Held a survey to determine what specific changes young people wanted us to help them make from our SEND youth forum, teen group and Youth Social Action Groups.
- Started a Youth Social Action Group with the aim, chosen by young people, to improve awareness of additional needs. This will include taking part in Parallel Windsor, producing a video and lots more.
- Hold a monthly Teen Club where young people choose activities and plan and fundraise for these activities.
Reading has one of the most ethnically diverse populations in the UK and Wokingham has an increasing Asian population. Me2 Club record how we far we are reaching the diverse populations in Reading and Wokingham and how far young people from the various populations in our area contribute. Me2 Club are successful in getting ethnically diverse young people to take part, through our inclusive approach. 27% of our children and young people are from global majority groups.
Wokingham is seen as an affluent area but there are areas of hidden need including five economically disadvantaged wards in both Reading and Wokingham. We are proud to have been able to keep our service free for parents and in cases of financial hardship we have a policy to help with the costs of the activity, uniform and transportation so that children have a chance to attend their chosen activity.
O- Open up our decision-making structures.
We will offer opportunities for young people, particularly from low-income and ethnic minority backgrounds, to participate in decision-making, leading and shaping both the activities they are involved in and wider organisational decisions.
- Me2 Club’s 3-year strategy 2021 to 2024 has a clear objective for our young people to actively influence decisions in the charity and co-produce the support that they receive.
- We have a co-production policy setting out how Me2 Club can empower young people to make positive changes to the charity.
- Young people are invited to tell us their ideas about what they would like Me2 Club to do, and we will coproduce all service developments with them. This includes having a say in their choice of activity and volunteer in the core service, regular surveys and a coproduced teen club and Youth Social Action Group as well as Takeover Days.
- All new staff will have participation as part of their induction, and we have developed a co-production tool to assist staff.
- Me2 Club pledge that we will invite young people to attend interviews for all new staff.
W – Work collaboratively with other organisations.
We will work collaboratively with other organisations to create more high-quality opportunities, reach young people from low-income and ethnic minority backgrounds to take part, share learning and achieve shared goals.
Me2 Club attends the VCSF Forum, which includes Wokingham organisations that work with young people with additional needs. The Participation Officer chairs the equivalent in Reading. This means that Me2 Club can hear a variety of young people’s voices and enable high quality opportunities for young people to take action.
Me2 Club are leading on the development of disabled young people’s voice in Wokingham. We are working with others on the development of the SEND Local Offer, Preparing for Adulthood information and processes and are on the SEND Information, Advice and Support group.
E – Evidence the benefits of youth social action.
We will capture and share insights, stories and data on how we are working with young people, and the positive impact this has on them, their communities and our organisations.
Me2 Club produce monthly reports for the Trustee Board which includes ways we have enabled young people to take action and the impact of this in terms of our service. Our annual impact report includes how well we have ensured representation from global majority groups.
We asked young people how they want to get involved and what difference they want us to help them make in our participation activities – our SEND Youth Forum, teen group and youth social action groups. We are measuring this through a mixing deck monitoring tool and through minimum targets set for the year in opportunities that our young people will be offered to influence change. (Please see section P above).
R – Recognise and celebrate young people’s impact.
We will use our communication channels to advocate for and celebrate young people as positive and powerful changemakers.
Me2 Club already use our role within Reading and Wokingham to advocate for disabled young people, supporting local organisations to make their clubs accessible to all young people such as Scouts and swimming lessons providers.
Young people take over our office and social media annually, with young people in the driving seat for how each one will be conducted.
Me2 Club has an active presence on Facebook and Twitter, and we pledge to use this to celebrate how our young people have been positive and powerful change makers within Me2 Club.