On Friday 19th March 2010, Include Me TOO a national charity attended No 10 Downing with disabled children and young people to meet with the Policy Unit .
The meeting was arranged to provide a opportunity for disabled children and their peers to discuss collectively their vision of the National Include Me TOO Charter of Rights for Disabled Children and Young People. The Prime Minister is a signatory of the Charter and discussions and questions forwarded to the Policy Advisor at No 10 regarding how the Government is considering promoting and implementing the Charter.
During the visit the group were given a tour of the Cabinet Room and met Maggie Darling. The chancellor’s wife had a discussion with the young people who had travelled from Liverpool, Walsall, Wolverhampton and London.
The group shared their experiences with Government regarding their Rights and experiences and how the National Include Me TOO Charter of Rights for Disabled has supported their rights to be recognised and respected.
The visit was great opportunity for our potential young Ambassadors to gain confidence to talk directly to decision makers nationally and gain an insight to where key decisions are made which impact on the lives of disabled children and young people. The feedback they had during their meeting was fantastic they were articulate and self assured and are looking forward to further opportunities to represent their peers locally, regionally and nationally.
Include Me TOO officially launched the Ambassadors programme which is supporting disabled children and young people to be familiar with their Charter and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The programme supports their roles as peer supporters and Ambassadors. The programme is already being piloted in Walsall and three other Local Authorities will be part of the national pilot. We look forward in shaping a future which disabled children and young people have been involved in planning, maximising their opportunities and living their aspirations.
Parmi Dheensa (Executive Director Include Me TOO)
NOTES: During the visit the following young people shared their experiences on various issues.
1: Danny Wilde – My experiences, people’s attitudes
2: Michele Poole – My experience in higher education.
3: Jane Lane School – Our School community experience : Championing and promoting our Rights through Include Me TOO
4: Nathanial Hazel – How I am supporting my disabled peers
5: Cairen Dheensa – Why I feel it is important for brothers and sisters of disabled children to also be heard and listened too.
6: Jaymi Portman and Nana Birakwye – How can the Government support Disabled Children and Young People’s Rights
Through collaboration we can all together ensure the vision set out by the Charter can become a reality for all disabled children and young people and their families in Great Britain.