Child Friendly case studies

Covid19 youth survey

The Covid19 Youth Survey was created in partnership with the Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The survey wanted to find out the key concerns amongst children and young people across each of the CCG areas (Redbridge, Havering and Barking and Dagenham). Redbridge had the best response rate with more than 900 young people responding (more than two thirds of the responses across the three boroughs). Our Child Friendly Redbridge Ambassadors helped draft the questions in the survey and pushed and promoted the survey amongst their friends and in their schools.

The findings were shared across different partners and service areas to help them improve their services to young people. The key findings of the survey were:

  • Mental health - young people with existing mental health issues were feeling worse and others were experiencing mental health issues for the first time
  • School work - young people were worried about falling behind, not being able to study at home and their exams. This was a huge cause of mental health issues, such as anxiety and stress
  • Catching the virus - many young people felt people of all ages were not taking social distancing and lockdown seriously enough and were worried about transmission


Schools Covid19 information leaflet

The back-to-school Covid19 information leaflet was created as a result of findings from Covid19 Youth Survey, responding to the various issues that young people said they were worried about. The leaflet was designed by Youth Panel with an opportunity for different services to contribute information they wanted to share with students. The leaflet was shared with all schools in paper and print versions. 


Mental health map

The mental health map was created in response to findings from Covid19 youth survey. A large number of young people told us that they felt down, sad or negative. The map gives information about services in Redbridge, including those that are not directly mental health services but contribute to wellbeing (e.g. arts or sports clubs).

The idea is that these activities will help to build resilience in young people before they get to the point that they need to be referred into services. The map is being promoted to young people and practitioners. 


Zine with Space Studios

To help young people get creative and express themselves during lockdown, we partnered up with Space Studios in Ilford to create a zine, called MyZine. The Zine was entirely designed by young people with the help of artist Tamu Nkiwane. MyZine intended to capture how young people were feeling during lockdown and provide a way to stay creative without being in the classroom. The Child Friendly Redbridge team distributed arts and crafts material to all young people taking part and weekly meetings were held via Zoom to discuss a different topic to help create MyZine. The group explored ideas around characters, abstract art, anime and stories through images.

MyZine has now been printed and distributed to the young people that took part. The artwork was also displayed in Space Studio’s in Ilford. You can see more about the project and some of the images from the MyZine with Artist Tamu Nkiwanev. 

View the online version of MyZine


External Scrutiny with Councillors

Every year Redbridge Councils holds an external scrutiny meeting with young people to help the voice their concerns and priorities directly to Councillors.

In 2020, young people presented at External Scrutiny via MS Teams on four topic areas that they felt were the most important to them. These were:

  • Black History
  • Why Redbridge?
  • Young People’s Current Concerns
  • Environment

Prior to the meeting, young people met with officers from different service areas as part of their research into each topic area to help them arrive at recommendations. Recommendations were presented at External Scrutiny on 25 November at a lively session with Councillors and Officers. Councillors received a summary of issues raised by the young people for their cabinet portfolio areas to take forward.


Fairlop Waters

The team working on the Fairlop Waters expansion project wanted to make sure that children and young people get a say in the facilities that are created in the park as part of the plans to preserve and expand Fairlop Waters.

To do this they created a pack used to engage with the Youth Council and Child Friendly Redbridge Ambassadors with support from the Youth Involvement Worker and Child Friendly Redbridge Programme Team. This pack was used to capture design ideas from young people local to the park. The team also made sure to engage with a diverse group including those that are further away or might not currently use the park.


Examples of good practice

IT equipment during the Covid19 pandemic

 The council launched a crowdfunding campaign, Making IT Happen, to ensure that all children and young people in the borough had access to laptops to study at home. Once a child no longer needed the device it was returned to their school, meaning it not only supported the child at the time, but will continue to support more children and young people in the future too.

Cllr Elaine Norman, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Children have suffered due to the pandemic. They’ve had to put up with so many changes while also worrying about the impact on their education.

“No child under our watch will be deprived of the equipment and support they need to maximise the full experience of their education.”


Child Friendly principles in planning

The Royal Town Planning Institute included good practice from Redbridge in their new practise guidance called Children and town planning: Creating places to grow. They share how the Redbridge Planning and Building Control Team have a key role in delivering Child Friendly Redbridge. Some of the actions hey are taking include:

  • Embedding the UNICEF principles into the planning application process. This is being implemented by identifying opportunities to engage with youth groups on the design of developments as part of the consultation process. A pilot scheme that examines the public realm of a large supermarket with youth groups is underway
  • A review of the Redbridge Local Plan will take place in 2022. This provides an opportunity for the planning team to embed the child-friendly aspirations within the future engagement process and planning policies. The planning team will engage with young people including Child Friendly Redbridge Ambassadors, the Youth Council, SEND Youth Forum, Children in Care Council, Young Carers and others such as schools and youth clubs
  • Community Design Forums are due to be established across the borough. These will encourage residents to opt into a forum to be kept up to date with ongoing developments or consultations for their local area. The forums will be promoted via schools and to youth groups to ensure a diverse membership

A future goal is to develop a design guide for developers based on the UNICEF UK principles. The planning team recognises that applicants currently refer to multiple policy and supplementary planning documents to ensure that the boroughs aspirations are met. To encourage child-friendly development they are aware they need to make the process of doing so as simple as possible.