Visit to Active 8

Yesterday, I and a Cornwall Council officer (Chris), visited the Cornish charity Active 8. The charity is based in Falmouth, but reaches the whole of Cornwall. The reason for the visit is Cornwall Council Children’s Schools and Families OSC is looking at how to improve communication, and involvement between young people projects, and see how they can take an active part in policy and the decisions that are made.

For those who may not know, Active 8 is a small Cornish charity, providing two years of fun and challenging experiences for young people with a physical disability, followed by opportunities for young adults (the After Eights) to stay in touch with each other as they start their adult lives. Their website is HERE and is definitely worth a look.

During the visit I met Mike and Richard, along with Active 8’s youth worker Matt. After the introductions, Matt asked each of us which new super-hero would we be as an ice-breaker. I won’t tell you who we would be, or the names, but it was very funny.

As I said, the aim of the visit was to see how these young people felt about Cornwall Council. It was nice to hear that Cornwall Council was good, and it really did try to do its best, though not always getting it right. This was good to hear from people who have had first hand experience of Cornwall Council. I also explained my role as a Councillor, and how that can work as a link between various organisations; plus be there to  help when needed.

It was good to hear how they felt things at Cornwall Council could be improved, their frustrations and solutions to problems. They felt they would like more information about Cornwall Council and services it provides, with regular updates from the council. They felt it was often hard to find out information, or it was not that user-friendly. Issues they raised were taxis, access to beaches, drop kerb, information on services and housing.

The real important message is they wanted to engage with the council and help the council with finding solutions that those with a physical disability faced . This I very much welcome, as with better communication and understanding, we might just overcome the issues.

Huge credit should go to the people behind Active 8 who run a really inspiring program. It was great to meet Mike, Richard and Matt and I look forward to them visiting County Hall in the New Year.

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