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28 November 2016

To kick start our first day of London Youth Inclusion Week, we wanted to share with you some of the specifics about our own work in the area over the past year.

Three years ago we made an organisational commitment to ensuring that young people with disabilities could achieve the same as their peers in all of our work at London Youth. Central to all of these plans, was a newly formed group of Inclusion Champions that championed the inclusion agenda across our three sites (Hindleap, Woodrow and in London) and through our four strategic objectives .

In addition to the role of championing, they acted as an advisory group and made recommendations for improvements and enacted these. The Inclusion Champions were a group of 12 staff whose membership cut across all departments, representing our collective work as broadly as possible. With our inclusion work now fully embedded within the organisation, we made the decision to wind down the Inclusion Champions. But inclusion is still a huge part of our organisational culture and is core to our offer for young people and youth professionals. Below are just some of the highlights of our inclusion work.

Since Inclusion Week 2015 , London Youth has boy-on-zip-for-inclusion-bidsrefreshed its brand and now has a website that is accessible. The colours, texts and resources we create for our services are now easier for users with visual impairments to enjoy. But we’re by no means perfect or experts at this. And welcome any feedback from others who can support us to continue developing in this area. If you have something to share, please email hello@londonyouth.org.

This year the Sports Development Team also ran our first Inclusive Sports Residential at Woodrow High House during the summer which saw London Youth member clubs The Laburnum Boat Club, Beckton Globe, Haringey Shed and Streatham Youth and Community Centre coming together to take part in accessible sports and even a mini Athan 31 challenge – This may not mean anything to people now so maybe replace with ‘social action project pitching for funding?’

wheelchair zipwire

 

Hindleap now has 3 off road buggies that mean people with physical disabilities are able to enjoy the 300 acres of Ashdown Forest. The Petchey-fied Tower is able to accommodate wheelchair users which means people of all abilities are able to abseil and zip-wire through the trees. And thanks to Sport England, Hindleap’s new swimming pool has more accessible steps and a hoist enabling more people to benefit from taking a dip in the water.

 

Woodrow have also been very busy making the centre accessible with wheelchair level signage as well as purchasing an off-road wheelchair. From now on training of new apprentice staff will also include a focus on how to make the outdoors inclusive for everyone. With the help of NBC Universal volunteers, young people now benefit from an accessible archery range and campfire area too.

 

 

If you would like to get involved with our Inclusion work and are a London Youth member club, join our Inclusion Network where we provide youth professionals with the opportunity to share knowledge, expertise and resources on their own work. Meetings are used by the group to troubleshoot challenges and share knowledge and expertise. You can find out more by clicking here.