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West Sussex Young People's Service

Pandora Ellis (Contact by email / 07764 793106)
Region: South East

About the West Sussex Young People's Service:

The West Sussex Young People services works and supports a number of partners working with young people in the South East region. 

Youth research projects:

Young Health Inspectors

Young People Helping in Hospitals project aimed to test models for expanding young volunteers in 5 hospitals in the UK. West Sussex Young People’s Service (YPS), worked in partnership with Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Within the overall aim of expanding young volunteers, their YPS remit was to deliver a Taster programme for disadvantaged young people, who may not access this type of opportunity. While the hospitals measured the impact of the project on patient experience, in YPS we focused on the outcomes for young people. Of the 5 partnerships, this was the only project with this unique focus, and insight.

Young people tested the taster programme, to evaluate and inform its direction which you can see here: 

The final report will be complete soon.

ARC Inspectors 

Young people from the West Sussex Children in Care Council have been inspecting children’s homes and Independent fostering agencies across West Sussex as part of the ARC inspection programme. The young people have been trained in safeguarding, interview skills and national standards in care, and inspect ten homes each year. As part of the inspections the young people speak to children living in the home, and measure their responses against national care standards, which are then written up into an anonymised report that is sent on to the managers of the home, and the commissioners at West Sussex Council.

Chloe and Mel, who have been carrying out some of the inspections said:

The ARC inspections are good because you can put something back. You get a chance to see different children’s homes, and you can help the young people in them make a real difference to them, and see the good work that takes place.” They added, “Children’s homes are not the easiest places to be in for some young people, so its nice to know we are helping make them the best that they can be.”

‘Free Your Mind’ (FYM) Mental Health Campaign Group 

The FYM group was founded in 2013 and is a group of young people from West Sussex who are passionate about challenging people’s views on mental health and want to remove the stigma associated with it. The group is actively involved in improving mental health services for their peers and can already boast a number of achievements, including expanding the mental health information available of West Sussex Your Space website and influencing the redesign of Children’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Services.

Most recently the group has been successful in delivering a countywide conference which brought together young people aged 13 to 23 together with practitioners to raise awareness of mental health and provide a safe environment for young people to express their views on mental health services. The group has also been successful in winning the ‘Community Impact Award’ from the Positive for Youth Awards for their success in being the most sustainable project. 

The FYM group is supported by West Sussex Young People’s Service: