The best way to set about providing services for young people is to ask them what they want.
That’s why Kemp Hospice has set up its Youth Forum to help guide development of Kemp for Kids, a new programme that aims to offer practical and emotional support to every bereaved child and young person in Wyre Forest and the surrounding area.
The seven community-minded students are from the town’s Baxter College and generously give their free time.
During term time, they meet regularly to work on ways of developing the Kemp for Kids programme and twice a term they meet with Kemp workers to put forward their ideas and suggestions.
Young people from other local schools will be joining the Youth Forum in the new year, making this a community-wide project.
Jackie Turner, child and family support worker, said: “At Kemp, we think it’s important for us to sit down with young people and talk about what they want because things are so different for young people today that we’re likely to make mistakes.
“That’s why input from the members of the Youth Forum is so important to us. They’re the ones who really understand what will work for young people, and they’re just bubbling over with great ideas that will help us make Kemp for Kids really effective and successful.”
One of the first results of the Youth Forum’s work is a video that was written, acted and shot by the group which provides a clear idea of what Kemp for Kids is all about and how it helps young people deal with bereavement.
They are also helping to design a young persons page on the Kemp website and with fundraising activities at schools and in the wider community.
Kemp aims to raise £30,000 in 30 weeks through its Children’s Appeal to help deliver a range of programmes around the district to support bereaved children.
The appeal is being run in association with The Shuttle, which will feature appeal updates every week in a bid to help the hospice reach its target as quickly as possible.