what is youth participation?


Young people that have utilised services here at CDI are encouraged to provide feedback so that we can continually strive to improve what we do and how we do it. In 1996 we took this approach a step further and supported young people who had accessed our services to set up a group and begin to take on governance tasks to help improve our practice.  These young people, as many that have followed,  have been involved in a number of events, not just within CDI but for the borough and also for national campaigns, from managing conferences in partnership with Croydon NHS (Finding a Voice '97 through to '2000) to engagement with Association for Young People's Health (AYPH) by involvement in making a video about what young people want from health services.

In 2000, 2003 and 2006 young people had constantly requested that we look at alternative therapies so that we could offer something different alongside more traditional methods of support and talking therapies.  In 2008 we were happy to introduce a modest provision of hypnotherapy.  This was a true example of co-design.  (see our counselling leaflet)

CDI - why youth participation is important for us

General involvement

Youth participation has been an extremely important part of our agency's ethos for many years. We have worked with many young people through our youth participation groups and those members have all provided us with vital feedback on all areas of our provision.

Young people are encouraged to become involved in our governance as well as our selection and recruitment processes.  To take on these roles and responsibilities young people take part in several training events, more about which can be seen on our Outreach and Events pages, or you can call us for more information.

We currently have two youth participation groups; these young people are recruited from within our counselling service and from young people who have accessed our training programmes directly through our outreach team recruitment. Great consideration is given to age appropriateness and we ensure that someone who is 12 is not part of a group who may be 18+ for instance.   The aim is to make these sessions fun and enjoyable.

We are currently delivering an exciting programme called Changing Sport Changing Lives.

The Groups

Training Group

Most of our sessions are open to those who apply directly.  A list is maintained and participants are informed when the next group will start.  Please feel free to call and let us know if there is anything that you would like to do; we can then add your name to our waiting list or signpost you to another agency that supports young people with training and development.

"I loved it all, Sonia is great, I have so much more confidence now that I have met these lovely people, thank you".

Therapeutic Group

The Therapeutic group members are all recruited from the CDI waiting list or from those young people who have just finished their counselling with us.  The aim of the group is to build self-esteem and confidence in a safe environment and to meet new people.  This group is usually about six in number and each week they work on issues that they have identified; the following are examples of sessions delivered recently: Self-Esteem, Introduction to Facilitation Skills Workshop, Assertiveness Skills, Interview Skills, Communication, Setting Goals and Targets, Self Reflection and Motivation, Identifying and working on positive traits and team building.

"I was on the waiting list for counselling at Drop In but having been involved with the young people's group I no longer feel I need counselling".

Unfortunately this group is currently suspended as we look for new funding to support this vital work.  The existing members have now been transferred to our Training Group and will be taking part in the Changing Sport, Changing Lives Course that is supported by the Jack Petchey Foundation.