Teenagers across Telford and Wrekin are stepping up to offer a vital voice on the future of healthcare services in the region.
Several young people attended the inaugural meeting of Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCG) Young Health Champions at AFC Telford held in early January.
The CCG, which is responsible for buying healthcare services in Telford and Wrekin, set up the group in order to find the views of people aged 14-18 and begin a conversation over how that growing demographic can contribute to the local debate on important healthcare issues.
Mike Innes, chair of the CCG, said: “We’re thrilled that these young people took the time to come along and it is absolutely crucial that we involve people of that age group in the work we do and the decisions we are tasked with making over the future of local healthcare services.
“It was a really engaging morning and the debate was really lively,” he said. “We’re already thinking about the opportunities we can develop to involve the Young Health Champions in the work we’re doing and it’s exciting to think what their voice will be able to contribute to how we choose and design the health services we offer locally working with this group. We’d also like to thank the Charlton School for helping to promote the young health champions and to their pupils for attending.
Mr Innes said there were already plans for the group to join forces with Shropshire’s Young Health Champions so they could see the projects they had already undertaken across the county by like-minded individuals.
Lia Skelton, 14, who came along on the day, said: “It was a really interesting morning and I went away with a much better idea of what health is, what affects good health and more about health inequalities.
“People of my age group are the future of the area and it’s really important that we have our say in what something as vital as the local health service looks like now and in the future,” she said. “I’m really looking forward to getting involved.”
The next Young Health Champions Meeting takes place on Sunday 15 February at 10am at AFC Telford.