A dedicated group of young people are helping to inspire change for fellow youngsters with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) across the city.

The members of HY5! have special educational needs or disabilities themselves, and have joined together to raise awareness of issues that affect them and to help drive further improvements in SEND services.

They want to make Wolverhampton a better place to live for children and young people with SEND and are looking at everything from education and leisure activities to training and job opportunities. 

Councillor Dr Michael Hardacre, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said: "We and our partners are determined to ensure that provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their families is the best it can be, and we are always looking for feedback from young people on the facilities and services we offer. 

“The HY5! Group is hugely important to us and is a fantastic way to engage with and learn from young people who are passionate and vocal about the issues that matter to them. By working together, we can help further improve a range of facilities and outcomes for children and young people with SEND across Wolverhampton. 

“I know that inspectors from Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission, who have been inspecting SEND services in Wolverhampton this week, were very impressed by members of HY5! when they met with them on Tuesday, and I would urge any youngster who wishes to champion a voice for SEND to join HY5! and get involved.” 

HY5! meets every 2 weeks and are encouraging 11 to 25 year olds from Wolverhampton with experience of SEND services to join them. The group also offers young people the chance to develop their skills, such as communication and presenting, and build their confidence. 

If you are a young person with SEND who is, or know someone who might be, interested in joining HY5! please contact Alison Baggs via alison.baggs@wolverhampton.gov.uk or on 07816 085105 or shaquille.spence@wolverhampton.gov.uk on 07823 523027.