Participation - finding out what difference it makes
Practice site 5: CHILYPEP (Sheffield Children and Young People's Empowerment Project)
1. Characteristics of service users involved
The Sheffield Children and Young People’s Empowerment Project (CHILYPEP) is a registered charity that has worked with children and young people across Sheffield for over five years. The purpose of the work is to support children and young people in communities with high deprivation indicators to be actively involved in decisionmaking processes that affect their lives.
2. How service user participation within the organisation is ensured
The project is designed as a peer research project. Participants develop questionnaires, which are analysed by staff but with reports written in consultation with young people. Feedback is provided through area conferences to key public services.
3. What policies on service user participation has the organisation formulated?
The organisation’s purpose is to develop participative consultation with children and young people in key areas of Sheffield and to promote and facilitate the application of findings of consultation exercises with public services.
4. How are service users supported?
A paid worker coordinates the peer research projects and supports the young people to develop neighbourhood youth forums to take forward issues raised in the research findings. A professional researcher ensures that the design and analysis of data collection uses the themes and issues suggested by young people.
5. How are the effects of participation monitored, audited, and evaluated?
The process is self-auditing with clearly defined outcomes to each episode of participatory work.
6. A particular example of participation making a difference
A Peer Research Project was undertaken to find out the views and ideas of young people. This piece of research was also assigned to inform the Youth Strategy for this area. The Community Forum will be responsible for the implementation and review of the strategy, with support from partners within the Youth Strategy Group. The Delivery Plan will cover a 12-month period, and will be reviewed and updated through quarterly meetings. An evaluation event is planned (March 2007), which will work to inform how this project is developed further. The project was also aimed at supporting young people to develop new skills in research and consultation, and to gain a wider understanding of how to influence decision making and have their voice heard.
7. Contact details
Contact person: Karen Hill (researcher)
Address: Children and Young People’s Empowerment Project, Remington Youth and Community Centre, 200 Remington Road, Parson Cross, Sheffield S5 9AG.
Telephone: 0114 2463897
Web address: www.chilypep.org.uk (website under construction)