Youth Forum

A welcoming group where young people share ideas about how to make healthcare services even better for children and young people.

Please note that due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the Trust’s response to it, Youth Forum sessions will be held via MS Teams until further notice.

Here are some of the Youth Forum’s achievements:

  • Worked with staff in the Children’s and County Wide Community Care Directorate to co-create ‘Our Hopes for Healthcare at HDFT.’ Members spoke about their ideas for making healthcare services even better for young people. The Youth Forum then asked more than 100 other young people if they agreed with the Hopes. Our Hopes for Healthcare was launched in 2019 and it continues to help in making healthcare services even better for children and young people.
  • Took part in the interview process for the Trust’s Chairman, Director for Workforce and Organisational Development and Occupational Therapists.
  • Worked with other youth groups in North Yorkshire to create a guide to mental health support.
  • Gave ideas for activities that young people would like to see in waiting rooms and when they are staying on the Children’s ward. These activities are now ready to be used.
  • Involvement in the process to update the play area on Woodlands Ward. As a result, the area is known as the activity area (as it’s not just for young children) and the Youth Forum will continue to be involved.

Who can join the Youth Forum?

We are passionate about creating an inclusive Youth Forum that promotes and values diversity. If any of the following apply to you then,  you will be an asset to the Youth Forum:

  • You have experience of being cared for by local healthcare services
  • You aspire to a career in healthcare
  • You are passionate about giving young people a voice in healthcare decision making

Anyone aged between 13-19 can apply irrespective of disability, gender identity and gender expression, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation or other personal circumstances.

What does the Youth Forum do?

The Youth Forum is run by the members, with support from HDFT staff.

The group talks about topics like:

  • What can we do to make our services as welcoming as possible to children and young people?
  • How do we help young people understand their healthcare rights?
  • How can we make healthcare services easier for young people to use?

Group members give their ideas and share their experiences. HDFT staff use this information to make a positive difference to existing and future healthcare services for young people.

The group also goes on tours ‘behind the scenes’ to see the hidden side of healthcare such as the laboratories, sterile services and specialist children’s services.

It is a great place to meet new people, share experiences, gain knowledge and learn new skills.

AND THERE’S ALWAYS FOOD – the group really wanted you to know this!

“The Trust is very grateful to members of the Youth Forum for sharing their ideas and insights. They are a hardworking and creative group. It is really important that we develop our services in response to the needs of children and young people and the Youth Forum gives them a loud voice which we listen to very attentively.”
– Angela Schofield, Chairman of Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust

When does the Youth Forum meet?

There are lots of ways to get involved in the Youth Forum including attending meetings, being part of a wider social network and responding to surveys.

Informal meetings are held on the first Tuesday of every month, between 5-6.15pm. You are most welcome to come along to our next meeting. Until further notice, meetings are being held via MS Teams – details are available by contacting [email protected].

How can I apply to join?

For more information and to request an application form please email [email protected].

A message from Maisie, one of our members

“I have worked with peers on ‘HDFT’s Hopes for Healthcare’ which focuses on improving services for young people. I have expressed my ideas and opinions on many other projects including improving activities in children’s areas.

Being part of the Youth Forum has enabled me to discover and understand how hospitals work ‘behind the scenes.’ I have visited the laboratories, met Speech and Language Therapy teams, and learnt how equipment is processed in Sterile Services. These experiences have shown me just how diverse each department is and has given me a wider understanding of the collaborative nature of healthcare.”

 Join the Youth Forum today and use your voice to ensure that young people are represented during decision making.

Useful links

The useful links below show similar work being undertaken by other local and national organisations. Click the links below to find out more.

North Yorkshire Youth – providing opportunities for children and young people to discover their own potential.

NHS England Youth Forum – giving young people a say on health services nationwide.