In 2015, PACT secured funding to move forward the “Our Voice” agenda. This agenda was based on the children’s Our Voice Charter. The funding was used mainly for a project in London in 2016. The project is called “Hear Our Voice”. It involves working with groups of young people in order to equip them with the skills and confidence necessary to self-advocate. The funding was also used to build a new section of their website specifically for young people and to better represent children’s needs, experiences, and wishes to the police, courts and schools.
The “Hear Our Voice” project aims to accomplish many things. They partnered with Place2Be to develop and deliver training in schools in London on how to support children and young people who are affected by a family member in prison. They all worked with police in order to raise awareness and improve practices involving (indirectly or directly) children to minimise the harm caused to children during arrests or raids are carried out on family homes.
The work with children to empower them to self-advocate comes from the wish to have young people to share their thoughts and their opinions with the criminal justice system, to better inform those working with prisoners on how the imprisonment of a family member affects them and the changes they would like to see made. The funding will also be used to run a series of sessions and workshops that are led by youth workers. These workers will be able to offer emotional support and provide a parent-free, safe environment where young people can discuss their feelings and opinions with peers who have been through or are currently going through a similar situation.
For more information:
29 Peckham Road
Tel: 0207 735 9535