Quick Exit

Participation Group

The Participation Group is a group of young people who have accessed support from Imara and now offer their time to help improve the service. This involves being consulted on new ideas Imara is developing, and using their own ideas to create new projects, resources, and campaigns.

Young people who have been through our service often tell us how they realise and wish adults could have listened, responded and supported them differently. Research from other organisations show that many young people who have experienced sexual violence feel this way when they reflect back on their journey. For example, this report by the NSPCC, No one noticed, No one heard.

We wanted to make sure that every young person is heard and empowered and that’s how the Participation Group was founded. This fantastic group of young people are motivated to work together and use their experience to make sure other young people are heard and better supported. The group is open to new members through out the year.

Since being founded in 2020, the Participation Group have used their voices in many ways. Here are some examples:

  1. Providing feedback on project ideas that Imara wants to develop like workshops for young people in schools
  2. Interviewing candidates who apply for a job at Imara
  3. Social media take over during Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, you can view this on our Facebook and Instagram pages
  4. Taking part in research with the Young Researcher’s Advisory Panel at the University of Bedfordshire
The Participation Group are currently planning an art exhibition to break the silence surrounding sexual violence and raise awareness of Imara

Here’s what some of the young people have to say about their experience as part of the Participation group so far:

“I enjoy learning about Imara’s new projects and being able to have an input into things that mean a lot to me”

“I’ve enjoyed everything about the group, meeting new people and having lots of fun”

“I look forward to being able to talk to professionals about the effects of child sexual abuse and educating people in a topic seen as taboo (which shouldn’t be seen as taboo)”

Here’s how some of the young people feel being part of the Participation Group means to them:

As a service, we continue learning so much from this inspiring group of young people. Here is what some of our staff have said about how the Participation group has made a difference:

“Thank you for sharing your knowledge and expertise with us. [We] implemented all your suggestions for the Rockpool group project and feel very grateful for your input!

“Thank you so much for supporting us with interviews, we would miss so much if you weren’t there to share your perspective.”

If you would like to find out more about the Participation Group, please contact Vimbai, our Communications and Engagement Coordinator by emailing info@imara.org.uk.

March 21st, 2022