Skip to main content

Listen To My 'Voice' Programme - Young People Making A Difference.

The 'LISTEN TO MY 'VOICE'' Programme

This programme stems from the SEN Reforms outlined in the Children and Families Act, Section 19 and the publication and update of the SEND (Special Educational Needs) Code of Practice 2015 and the young people identified within Section 10 as ‘Children in Specific Circumstances’. 

It was set up on behalf of the LA in partnership with Children England and also children, young people and families within Stoke-on-Trent.

There is one, and only one aim for this programme. 

Every child, young person and young adult, accessing services and support in Stoke-on-Trent, has a right to be, and opportunities to be, consulted upon and listened to when decisions are being made that have an impact on his or her life.

Who to contact

Contact Name
Sue Thomas
Contact Position
07432 593635


in 2014 Children England were commissioned by Stoke on Trent Inclusion Service to raise the level of ‘VOICE’ of children and young people in Stoke on Trent facing learning challenges. (SEND)  A guide and Toolkit (Listen to My Voice’) was released in 2016, and more than 40 schools, and services  attended the workshops.  Parent, carers and guardians were also on most.

Within the Guide and Toolkit children, young people, young adults and carers explored motivators, local need and national legislation. Why we need to listen to service users, what are the benefits, challenges and barriers for this cohort.  By breaking down the consultation process we looked at how well organizations enable these children and young people to engage. And what this means for young people (Realism vs Expectation)  I have noticed an increase in engagement of this cohort as I have visited schools. 

As a result of those workshops an additional resources have been developed called ‘Supporting the Engagement of Parents, Carers and Guardians’ which was released in 2017, and a ‘Quality in Engagement Toolkit’ to help you to assess the quality of your engagement with children and families where there is  learning support or EHCP in place.  This toolkit and the quality statements contained was developed by working with services, children and families a tradition we intend to continue.

Over the next year focused in on support for children and young people through transitions.  How to ensure that they are effectively engaged in services that support them and that those services are working collaboratively with families to ensure that our children, whatever challenges they are facing that impact on their learning, develop into happy and productive young adults who feel that they are valued.

The programme, working with Governors, Service providers, SENCOS and other services working with young people with SEND who attended a mixture of focus groups and workshops explored a young person's transition points, particularly those impacting on post 16 youngsters to develop a clear picture on ‘How is it now?’ and what needed to be included in the resource ‘Young Adults Matter’  This element of the project was closed in March 2018 after the resource was drafted.  In 2018  Sue THomas, CSS Together was commissioned to move on the Programme to look at the areas identified below.  In addition, we have refreshed and circulated the 'Young Adults Matter' resource and are developing a young person focused summary called Supported, Welcomed, Safe and Happy  for schools and services to circulate.  In addition we are developing a leaflet for young people with an EHCP from year 10.

We are now inviting School, College and Academy governors, sencos, careers staff, and indeed third sector trustees, to attend the next stage of the workshops and discussions which will be looking to

  • Explore the strengths and challenges of communicating with young people and children with very complex needs in Stoke -on-Trent
  • Develop a city wide network of children and young people with challenges in their lives through communication, learning need or disability.
  • Enhance the awareness of young adults and employers of the concern that young people have expressed about potential bullying in the workplace issues. 
  • Develop a strategy for engagement for service users for the SEND Board.
  • Support the Inclusion service through advising and assisting senior managers develop effective policies, strategies and consultation processes. 
  • Provide LTMV training as appropriate for parents and carers, young people and for service providers. 
  • Develop a User Group for the Children With Disabilities Service and the Inclusion Service.
  • Support the Virtual School to identify the issues for young adult care leavers who become NEET. 

In addition we invite learning environments and young adult services, young people and young adults to take part in the ‘Listen to My Voice - Programme’  through activities and events over the course of the year.    

If you wish to know more or would like involvement with young people in your setting, please contact me,  Sue Thomas- Director - Creative Service Solutions (CSS) Together via email 

Where to go

Service is provided on client's site

Other Details


Initial service support and access to information and guidance on setting up consultation activities are available free of charge. Consultancy to assist with detail and content £150 per half day. Training events - Listen to My Voice updates and basic training on engagement of children, young people and parents, carers and guardians £350 per event. From time to time an opportunity to access free events and training pilots will be notified on this site for young people, parents and children. Access to any training or consultation event for young people is free of charge


Other notes

This project does not provide face to face activity with children and young people other than as part of support for services in their work with regard to listening to young people either with youngsters with an EHCP or School/College Student Councils..  However should you wish to develop a consultation or engagement activity and wish some additional support, please get in touch.

This is a capacity building service for education, health and care provider of services for adults, (Under 25)children and young people with an EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plan) 


Sign in to write a review

Back to top