Hi, I’m Amy and I have a long term health condition called Vocal Cord Dysfunction. As a young person, I struggled with a lot of the issues tackled in this report – like not being able to achieve at school due to time spent in hospital, feeling the odd one out in PE lessons and finding health services hard to access. At the time, I didn’t understand what my rights were and what that meant for my life, so I couldn’t fight to get what I wanted, needed and deserved.
Children and young people are often taught that they should passively accept whatever adults tell them to do. They are not taught to fight for what they need. Odd really, isn’t it, because young people with long term health conditions are often fighting tooth and nail just to stay alive. It’s easy to forget that these children and young people still have personalities, ambitions and a wish to ‘fit in’ – just like everyone else.
They should not be deprived of this. Every child deserves to be cared for in a way that takes into account their choices and individuality, their ambitions and needs. That’s why I’m so thankful to the young people consulted in these documents. Their honesty about their experiences and simple tips to make services work really make it easy for commissioners to know what children and young people need. I hope this document informs the next generation of services, so that in future all children gets their needs (and rights) met.
Amy, Common Room Young Advisor.