A project in rural Scotland that works with young carers is the winner of the health award in this year's Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) and The Guardian Public Involvement Awards. The awards aim to recognise projects that empower people to engage in issues that affect their lives and play a role in decision-making.
The health award is supported by The King's Fund, an independent charitable foundation working for better health. The award-winning Skye and Lochalsh Young Carers project supports 37 young carers and helps ensure that policy makers in local health and social services are sensitive to their needs.
The young people have developed guidelines to help hospital staff improve how they support young carers visiting the person they care for and have liased with service providers and Members of the Scottish Parliament on the Carers' Bill.
The awards, agreed by a panel of judges chaired by The King's Fund's Director of Health Policy, Anna Coote, are a benchmark of good practice in the UK. The project winners and shortlist, chosen from 152 public, voluntary and private-sector organisations across the UK, demonstrate real imagination and commitment to listening to and engaging the public in decision-making.
Runners up in the public involvement in health category were:
- The Department of Health. The 'Valuing People' White Paper is the Government's new strategy on learning disabilities. As part of this the Department of Health has involved people with learning disabilities in policy development in a number of ways. This includes setting up a Learning Disability Task Force co-chaired by someone with a learning disability as well as a National Forum for people with learning disabilities.
- The West Norfolk Primary Care Trust – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. The Trust carried out consultation to get the views of service users, parents and carers to inform the development of services. This included a workshop with young service users called 'Bullied? Mad? Confused?
Laura Edwards, senior research fellow at ippr, said:
'The awards are all about bringing to life one of the basic ideals of democracy – the active political involvement of citizens. People may be shunning the polling stations but public involvement can give them the chance to engage in issues directly relevant to their lives.
'The Skye and Lochalsh Young Carers project places carers right at the centre. Young carers have a clear sense that they own the project and are working with service providers to make sure that their needs are taken into account'
Notes to editors:
- The ippr/Guardian Public Involvement Awards 2002 were sponsored by the King's Fund and the Improvement and Development Agency.
- Awards were presented in five categories. The winners and runners up are as follows :
Joint winners in the General category
- Wrekin Housing Trust Tenant Auditors project
- The Wansbeck Council for Voluntary Service Our PART project
- Speaking Up – Cambridge Learning Disability Partnership
Winner of the Public Involvement in Health Award, supported by the King's Fund
- Skye and Lochalsh Young Carers Project
- West Norfolk Primary Care Trust - Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
- Department of Health for work involving people with learning disabilities
Winner of the e-involvement award, supported by the Improvement and Development Agency
- Mencap – Trans-active project
- Highland Youth Council – Youth Voice website
- Derbyshire County Council – b_line discount card
Winner of the Young People's Award
- Lambeth Youth Council
- Luton Children's Panel
- NSPCC – Trans-active project
- Department for Education and Skills Connexions programme
Winner of the Local Government Award
- Newcastle City Council– Eco-Panels project
- Sheffield City Council– neighbourhood level consultation on spending SRB budget
Beatrice Stern, Media Officer 020 7470 6125 / 07971 851 145 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Edwards, Senior Research Fellow, 0207 470 6110, email@example.com
Daniel Reynolds, Press Office, King's Fund, 020 7307 2581/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Award winners and runners up in health category:
Marjory Jagger, Senior Development Worker, Skye and Lochalsh Young Carers Project, 01478 613361
David Mowat, Policy Manager, Department of Health, 020 7972 4490
Trish Turner, Public Involvement Manager, West Norfolk Primary Care Trust, 01553 816217
All ippr news releases can be found at www.ippr.org.uk.