Change Council

Change Council are a group of cared for and care experienced children and young people who are supported, empowered and encouraged to run their own meetings, create actions, develop campaigns and have their say about things that matter to them.

Changing the lives of other young people in Sunderland, the Change Council are provided with opportunities to influence decisions about how Together for Children and partners' services for children and young people are run.

Change Council is split into two groups:

  • Young people aged 16+ who are currently cared for or care experienced, who represent the voices of children and young people who are cared for or leaving care
  • Young people aged 10 to 15 years who are currently cared for, who represent the voices of other children and young people who are in care

The aims of Sunderland Change Council are to:

  • Improve services for children and young people who are cared for or care experienced in Sunderland
  • Raise awareness of the issues faced by cared for and care experienced young people in Sunderland
  • Ensure that children and young people who are cared for and care experienced are listened to and heard
  • Build self-esteem and confidence
  • Have fun

What we do in Change Council?

  • We meet every other week at a TfC venue
  • Work through an agenda of items that have been agreed by the group
  • Talk about things that are important
  • Go on residentials
  • Get together to make friends and have fun
  • Work together with the Regional Children in Care Council in the North East of England
  • Get involved in recruitment and selection
  • Plan events
  • Have days trips out and activities
  • Make recommendations to change things and improve services for cared for and care experienced children and young people

What we have achieved in the last 12 months?

  • Free leisure activities for all cared for and care experienced children and young people, provided by Everyone Active
  • Commissioned Kooth, an online counselling and emotional wellbeing platform for children and young people
  • Changed the name of ‘Contact’ to ‘Family Time’
  • Supported the planning of the Christmas Celebration Event for all cared for and care experienced young people
  • Interviewed for Senior Leaders within Together for Children
  • Delivered training to professionals
  • Planned and ran workshops at a regional conference
  • Worked with the IRO service to make sure children and young people know who they are

How can I get involved?

Change Council meet every Wednesday evening between 5pm and 7pm and a TfC venue.

If you are a cared for or care experienced young person and would like to join Change Council, or if you have some questions or want some more information, please contact Nikki Donaldson, Participation and Engagement Officer, at youngvoice@togetherforchildren.org.uk.

You can also find us on social media:

Facebook: @sunderlandyouthvoice

Twitter: @sunderlandvoice 

Instagram: @sunderlandyouthvoice_

Additional support for cared for and care experienced young people:

IMO

IMO is a voice for cared for and care experienced teenagers and young people. It is somewhere they can share stories, experiences and achievements, and give and receive advice. IMO also shares opportunities for care experienced young people, such as jobs and apprenticeships.

Coram Voice

Coram Voices gets the voices of young people heard and offers a range of advice and support. Visit coramvoice.org.uk to find out more.

Become

Become is a charity offering help and support to children and young people who are cared for and care experienced. Visit becomecharity.org.uk to find out more.

In Participation and Engagement

  • Change Council - Sunderland’s Children in Care Council