The Celebration Event was held on Wednesday 18th February
The 2014-15 Commissioner’s Participation Awards aim to identify and recognise good practice at each stage with the hope that organisations government departments and public bodies can learn from each other and develop more meaningful participation of children and young people in their organisations.
The Youth Panel have been involved in exploratory research with government Departments which highlighted that while there were few examples of outstanding work there were some aspects of participative practice which we felt were worth highlighting. We looked at several examples of organisations getting ready for an undertaking participation projects and found that there were three stages to participation; Preparing Your Organisation for Participation, Engaging with Children & Young People and Follow up & Demonstrating Impact.
Philip McCullough from the Commissioner’s Youth Panel said: “Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child says children have the right to say what they think should happen and have their opinions taken into account when adults make decisions that affect them.
“Children and young people’s services play an important part in the responsibilities of many public bodies and we expect that each of them incorporate young people in their projects. While this is not always the case, there are examples of government departments and public bodies that are doing things right.”
This is NICCY’s third Awards scheme and the young people have noticed a marked improvement in the type of applications they are receiving.
Chief Executive at the office of the Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Mairéad McCafferty, said, “This is good news for these organisations, for children and young people, and for Northern Ireland society as a whole. It shows that children and young people’s inclusion and participation is beginning to be taken seriously. Services are more effective when young people contribute as active citizens.
“While it was very difficult for the Youth Panel to choose the winners from the many excellent entries, these ten organisations stood out for them, demonstrating their commitment to involving children and young people, listening to them, and more importantly acting on what they said.
“I would like to congratulate the Youth Panel, who over the past eight months, designed and developed the awards process based on their experiences from previous years, judged all entries made and helped organise the awards night itself.”
You can watch the Intro Video to the award here.
You can watch the main celebration event video here.
You can also view the Commissioner's intro video below: