July 10, 2022 7.00 am

Lincolnshire Young Voices create training programme to aid SEND people

The initiative will help improve communication between employers and SEND workers

Lincolnshire Young Voices (LYVs) is a group of young people with experience of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). LYVs have been working with professionals to help them communicate better with children and young people with SEND.

Lincolnshire Young Voices have developed an online training programme to help professionals improve their communication skills. The training is aptly named ‘A rough guide to not putting your foot in it!’

Jo Tolley, Lincolnshire Young Voices co-chair, said: “We knew GPs and other professionals wanted more training on working with those with SEND. We knew we were the perfect people to fill the gap in the market because we collectively and individually have lived experience of disabilities and additional needs and an abundance of passion to inspire change for people in our position and those around them.

“The Lincolnshire Young Voices committee members have used their lived experience of disability to create a resource which is honest, yet light-hearted. The training programme is a testament to their talent, determination, and passion to influence change. The overriding message they’ve chosen to share is one that not only professionals can learn from: We all get it wrong or ‘put our foot in it’ sometimes, but keep trying, keep communicating.

Emma Cross, Lincolnshire Young Voices co-chair, added: “We’re confident the training will boost professionals’ confidence when communicating with people who have special educational needs and disabilities.

“It highlights the importance of good communication by sharing case studies, including top tips for having a productive conversation and how to avoid any awkward ones. Crucially, the programme incorporates a document that will enable professionals to get to know an individual before they meet with them – resulting in better outcomes for those with SEND.”

Lincolnshire Young Voices are a pan-disability participation group. They research and act upon issues faced by young people with SEND. The group is funded by Lincolnshire County Council and supported by Lincolnshire NHS. Their aims are to improve accessibility – in its broadest terms -support services and raise awareness of SEND.