Changing Our Lives is supporting young people to lead a Challenge Board in Sandwell. This board is made up of young people from all walks of life.  All of the young people have been labelled as ‘disabled’ or ‘special needs’ but reject these labels:

‘It’s not good always thinking, ‘I am special needs’. I need to make the most of my life.’
‘I used to think about having difficulties or special needs, but it depressed me. I blank it out now and get on with my life.’
‘I don’t think about having a learning difficulty, I think I can go as far as I want. I can do anything I want to do.'
'Doesn’t matter what disability you have you can live in your own home and get a job.’

In each area around the country there are Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Boards. These boards have been set up because the government wants to make sure that young disabled people and young people who have been told they have Special Educational Needs, have good lives. The young people led Challenge Board will be working alongside the Sandwell SEND Board, holding them to account.

Their first area of work is employment and the support all young people need to make this a reality in their lives. Over the last few months they have been busy interviewing local professionals and writing a white paper on this topic, which they are due to launch in Spring 2018.

This new group of young leaders are bright, articulate and passionate about the human rights and want to make sure that they succeed in their role to improve the lives of young people in Sandwell by bringing the big issues to the table and driving these forward.

With aspirations of being radiographers, actresses and clinical psychologists, Sandwell better prepare itself for this new generation’s drive and enthusiasm.