The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea's Children's Forum, which offers children the chance to play an active role in developing and improving local services for young people, is the latest winner of the Prime Minister's Big Society Award.
It is also the first time a local authority has won a Big Society Award.
The Forum currently has 13 young members who have been encouraged to get involved in a number of initiatives from being entrusted with £1000 worth of funding to buy books for the library, helping senior Council officers to develop a new adventure playground in Little Wormwood Scrubs Park, and contributing to the Council’s Children and Youth Plan.
The children’s input has been a huge success, with young members now being asked to help develop two new play areas for the Borough and representatives from other councils coming to see the results for themselves. The library book purchasing idea will also be replicated in other libraries in the borough.
The Prime Minister said:
One of the key elements of the Big Society is empowering people to take control of how things are done in their area and shape the world around them.
By encouraging their younger residents to get involved in their community, offer up their ideas, take on responsibility and help make real decisions, the Children’s Forum is a great example of a local authority doing just that.
Their success is testament to the benefits of doing this. ”Congratulations to Kensington and Chelsea and all the young people at the Forum who have helped make a real difference to the borough.
Councillor Baroness Ritchie, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Cabinet Member for Family and Children’s Services, said:
I am delighted the part played by our Children’s Forum in the life of the borough has been recognised by 10 Downing Street. These children have taken the time to get involved in issues ranging from helping library staff select which books we stock, to cleaning up canal towpaths to make them more inviting for people to enjoy. Even at such a young age they are showing that they can make a difference in their community.