Next generation helps shape health services with peers in mind

Meet the team playing a part in making sure health services have young people at their heart.

Young Persons’ Group Ellie Milburn, Isabelle Hope, Michelle Milburn and Liam Thompson.

The Young Persons’ Group brings together 11 to 20-year-olds, offering feedback and ideas on how South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust can improve the experiences of people just like them.

They have already offered their views on designs for Sunderland’s new Eye Hospital, helped the Trust to effectively communicate changes to paediatric services in South Tyneside and worked alongside Sunderland City Council to produce a drug and alcohol leaflet for young people.

They have championed campaigns including anti-bullying week, child exploitation, no smoking, mental health and anti-alcohol and set up their own charity to fund running costs and equipment.

The group gives members a chance to create a portfolio of work to share alongside their studies and learn how to research and promote new campaigns and ideas to improve services for young people.

One member is Liam Thompson, 14, who added: “It’s good experience and it’s been good to help people and hear their views and opinions.”

The group is overseen by Trust Safeguarding Advisor, Michelle Milburn who said: “The group offers lots of new experiences and a chance to meet other people.

“Obviously that has been a challenge during COVID, to meet regularly, and some members are yet to meet others face-to-face, but they have helped each other through.

“Being part of the group is a fantastic way for young people to be able to share their ideas on how to improve the Trust services that they use.

“Getting feedback from them on specific projects and opinions from their perspective is so valuable.”