Young Advisors – CWP NHS Foundation Trust (NCCMH)

The Cheshire and Wirral Young Advisor programme supports young people aged 15 to 24 with lived experience of mental health services, to train and work with other young people, community leaders, and other organisations, on engaging young people in local decision-making and service improvement. The programme was developed by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership with national charity, Young Advisors. Through developing a network of teams of trained young people throughout the country, Young Advisors aspire to capture the voice of young people so that they are heard in communities and projects important to them.

Co-Production

  • From start: Yes
  • During process: Yes
  • In evaluation: Yes

Evaluation

  • Peer: Yes
  • Academic: Yes
  • PP Collaborative: Yes

Find out more

The Cheshire and Wirral Young Advisor programme supports young people aged 15 to 24 with lived experience of mental health services, to train and work with other young people, community leaders, and other organisations, on engaging young people in local decision-making and service improvement. The programme was developed by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership with national charity, Young Advisors. Through developing a network of teams of trained young people throughout the country, Young Advisors aspire to capture the voice of young people so that they are heard in communities and projects important to them.

 

Young Advisors

The team of Young Advisors have taken part in over 50 local and national commissions since the launch in November 2014, working across mental health and other services to improve awareness and understanding of the mental health needs of young people. One of these projects was to deliver training around young people’s mental health in emergency departments, GP surgeries, and paediatric wards. The majority of Young Advisors have experience of mental health services, and undergo 3 days of bespoke training for the role, delivered by the charity and funded by local CCGs. The success of the programme has encouraged further funding from Eastern Cheshire, South Cheshire, Vale Royal and West Cheshire CCGs to expand the programme across these areas.

 

Co-production and participation

The programme is driven by co-production and participation, with young people actively involved in training other young people and working in partnership with services. Being a Young Advisor helps develop valuable skills and experiences for life, supporting young people to move out of the mental health system and into further training and employment. Young Advisors liaise with community leaders, showing them how to engage young people in community life, local decision-making and improving services. They also work closely with business leaders, bringing unique expertise and knowledge to influence strategic planning, decision-making and marketing.

 

What makes this service an example of positive practice?

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership, were the first NHS trusts to develop the Young Advisor programme. It is based on a participation and recovery model, benefitting both the young people involved and the services that commission them, for which they have received ample positive feedback. Young people have had opportunities of paid work where they have been able to develop their skills, grow in confidence and receive further experience. The model has also helped facilitate the transition of young people to university, further training and employment. Young advisors have received a great amount of positive feedback from various partners that they have worked with and more and more services are appreciating the voice of young people. The model has also now been taken up by other NHS trusts.

 

Further details

Commissioning Eastern Cheshire, South Cheshire, West Cheshire and Vale Royal CCGs
ProvidersName of provider delivering service
Workforce (WTE)0.5 Young Advisor Co-ordinator (band 4)
Population size1.004 million
CaseloadThere are currently 16 young advisors.

 

Other e.g. transition, participation

 

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