Like many others, the Unstoppables* have been meeting online only throughout the pandemic. They last met face-to-face in March 2020. But on the first weekend of September they made their return to their ‘home base’ in Yeovil.

Young Person’s Champion, Nicole Tucker, reflects on the experience: “It was strange to see each other and meet in person for the first time in over a year. Even though throughout the pandemic we met up on zoom once a fortnight, it felt like a whole new group.

“We met on the first Saturday of this month, back to our normal schedule of monthly meetings. Only three members plus me, our lovely volunteer and the SEND Participation Officer (Lauren Oliver) were able to come, unfortunately, but we wanted to get face-to-face restarted so we went ahead.

“We probably won’t keep meeting online because some of the things that we work on really need longer discussions and the ability to work closely together. Online it might take about four meetings to do something we can complete face-to-face in just one meeting. Also, some members found online difficult to stay focused on the meeting and socially it was harder for them.

“The highlight of meeting face-to-face was being able to draw, write and plan on paper. Even though we used an online interactive site while we were meeting online, it wasn’t the same. And if you asked the Unstoppables what their highlight of the face-to-face meeting was, they would say ‘being able to eat together’”.

The Unstoppables’ highlight of last year was managing to create a video together about what it is like to have special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) and go to a mainstream school and college. If you would like to watch it, click on the following link: https://youtu.be/IDdGdVtFb6I

The group now aims to focus on getting back into a routine of face-to-face meetings and inviting new members into the group.


Could you be an Unstoppable?

*The Unstoppables forum is a group of young people with SEND aged 13-25 from across Somerset. They aim, with the support of Somerset County Council, to increase the voice of children and young people with SEND in Somerset. They have used their lived experiences to help government and services understand what young people with SEND need to be able to live a happy life. The Unstoppables have helped make many important decisions about funding for groups who support children and young people with SEND.

If you:

  • are aged 13-25yrs
  • live in Somerset
  • have personal experience of living with your own SEND
  • want to be involved in improving systems and services for children and young people with SEND.

You could join us!

Get in touch

     

Submitted by Somerset County Council’s Engagement and Participation Team