A group of Holywell students were invited to take part in a workshop to give their views and opinions on what a new children’s charter should include.
The North Wales Children’s Charter, which is being developed by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, will include a set of standards that organizations will work on, to ensure children and young people are treated fairly and have a voice.
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By involving the children and young people of the region in its design, the Charter will be based on what matters most to them and will be in line with the rights of the child, as set out in Article 12 of the United Nations Convention United Nations on the Rights of the Child. which stipulates that children have the right to express their opinions freely on matters that concern them, that these opinions are listened to and that children have the opportunity to be heard in all judicial and administrative proceedings affecting them.
Twelve students from grades 7 to 10 from Ysgol Treffynnon have volunteered to take part in the workshop, led by Owain Williams from the Urdd who in turn will pass on the students’ recommendations to the health board. The Urdd organizes the workshops in each secondary school in North Wales.
Several activities included drawing a triangle and writing down the most important issues for the top students, working on the issues they felt were less critical.
Another activity was to draw the outline of a human being and write what they considered to be “good” strokes inside the outline and “bad” strokes outside the outline.
Among the points that students raised in messages to other young people were: “treat people the way you want to be treated”, “you can’t change the situation, but you can control your reaction to it “, “be yourself” and “Always support people with mental health problems.”
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Rebekah Rae, ALN teacher and Student Voice leader at Ysgol Treffynnon, said: “I think the Children’s Charter is a wonderful initiative that will ensure our young people feel valued, heard and taken seriously. It’s so important for young people’s confidence and self-esteem.
“I was impressed by the maturity and compassion the students showed during the workshop, it’s really heartwarming to see how they reacted. I know they are looking forward to seeing the Charter when it is finalized. I think this can only be positive for the future of our children and young people.
Jane Berry, Patient Experience Manager, Child and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CAMHS) at BCUHB, said: ‘We have worked on several projects which involve children and young people in North Wales and comments include themes of not always feeling heard or empowered to make decisions and choices.
“We want to change that and make all children and young people feel empowered. The North Wales Children’s Charter will help bring about that change and give children and young people the voice they deserve.”