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Using the power of

youth action

to inspire change in our community Issue 26

For more information about The Chatterbox Project find us on: :chatterboxes

: @Chat_boxes


:Chatter Box

or visit our website:

Exciting News

Over the last few months we received the fantastic news that our project has successfully been awarded £407,000 from the National Lottery’s Reaching Communities fund to deliver youth action projects for disabled young people aged 11-25 years old across Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset over the next three years. The Chatterboxes is a youth-led project run by disabled young people with the aim of eliminating disability discrimination within their community and ensuring that young disabled voices are heard. Over the next three years the project will support young disabled people to become active citizens in their community through a range of youth action projects, peer mentoring and the delivery of school based projects and community events focusing on disability awareness, individuality, bullying and hate crime.

Michelle, a young person involved in the project, says: “It’s great that we have secured this new funding because our Chatterbox Project is full of positivity and we are all passionate about raising awareness of disabilities. It’s really important that there are projects like ours that help to show that people have their own unique qualities and quirks. I am a female with Asperger Syndrome and this group has helped me to open up and be myself. Over the coming years I hope we can help other young people with disabilities grow in confidence and realize how amazing they are.”

What do we currently offer? Our project is designed and run by young disabled people who are passionate about improving their community through youth action. We currently offer a range of opportunities for both young people and the general public. Tuesday evenings 6-8pm Bournemouth Town Centre For young people Monday aged 11-18 years old evenings Wednesday who live in 6-8pm evenings Bournemouth, Riffs Youth Club, 6-8pm Poole Ferndown. Pokesdown Youth or Dorset. Centre, Southbourne. For young people For young people aged aged 15-18 years old 18-25 years old who live in who live in Dorset. Bournemouth, Poole or Dorset. FREE Training for professionals

FREE Workshops for young people in schools or youth groups

We offer bespoke training for professionals working We provide tailored sessions with young disabled to suit the needs people, ranging of young people from from disability running 12 week Volunteering awareness to youth action Opportunities Equality & projects to one From film making, off workshops Diversity. magazine designing about anti and events, you can bullying. support young people to make a difference in the community.

All of our projects focus on transitions and supporting young people to build skills to help them in the future. Activities include cookery, safety workshops, arts and crafts, film making, magazine design and much more. AQA Awards are also completed by members as well as using a peer mentoring scheme throughout our projects. As we are a youth action project, run by the young people for young people we also deliver various projects and events in the community based on the needs of young people so our project is constantly evolving. To find out more about our project contact Poppy on: or ring 07827848479

Out and About

We have been super busy over the last few months in our community. Below are some of our highlights.

Delivering Equality and Diversity Training Over the last few months we have been delivering Equality and Diversity Training to over 500 young people aged 16-18 years old who are taking part in the National Citizenship Service in Bournemouth. Chatterbox members ran interactive activities which focused on a variety of aspects of Equality and Diversity including what hate crimes are, the effects of stereotyping and learning more about the Equalities Act 2010. Young people who took part said: “Amazing” “LOVE IT” “Came away feeling inspired” “I have learnt loads today”

Bournemouth Young Volunteer Awards Recently we were invited to attend the annual Bournemouth Volunteer Awards evening which celebrates all the wonderful volunteering young people do within the community. All the Chatterbox members received certificates for all their hard work; and several members received trophies for volunteering over 500 hours within the project. It was a great night. 3 Chatterbox members went on stage and explained how The Chatterbox Project has impacted their lives. Jasmine who is 13 years old told the audience: “I feel really proud to be a Chatterbox because I get awards but also I get to hang out with people like me and have people I can look up to like the peer mentors in our group. I know I can always go to them if I have any problems and they will support me”. Jayden who is 15 years old explained to the crowd: “We think it is really important that young people’s voices are heard properly as we are the future and we feel proud that everything we do makes a difference”

Bournemouth University visited our projects to gain our views about the legacy of the Paralympics.

We have run positivity workshops for over 600 girls at the Shine Event.

Chatterbox members have been busy running information stalls at Kinson Music Festival, Boscombe Youth Football event and other community events.

Our visit to the RSPB’S Kingfisher Barn



We visited Muscliff’s Kingfisher Barn.

Tom Clarke (who works at the RSPB) visited all our groups a few months before hand and got an idea of what sort of activities we would like to do when we visited. His visit really helped us feel at ease because we were able to get to know him and ask any questions and share our worries with him about the visit. We started by exploring the area by constructing small clay animals. We split into two groups and created habitats with sticks, branches, and leaves. Afterwards, we drew maps that lead to each other’s habitats. At the barn; yummy sausages, scones and strawberries were prepared to keep us energized and then we grabbed some nets and set off towards the river where we found lots of fish swimming happily. The evening was so much fun and they even have a cat. By Hannah By Raymond To find out more about RSPB opportunities locally visit: or ring (01929) 553360

Celebrating Diversity

Our visit to the AFC Bournemouth stadium

A group of 6 Chatterboxes recently visited Bournemouth SEND Celebrating Diversity event at AFC Bournemouth Vitality Stadium. It was all about local organisations coming together to show what they can offer for young people with a disability. There were many different projects for us to study and learn from about disabilities and gender issues. We had our own information stall where we told everyone about our project and how it all works. We told people how the project has helped us and why it’s really important to us all. We made some great contacts and shared ideas with many local organisations. We were really proud to hear our former member Joely speak about diversity and present her book about her Asperger Syndrome. It made us all realise that we can achieve anything if we put our minds to it.

We were grateful to AFC Bournemouth for hosting this special event, giving us a guided tour of the stadium and providing some delicious cakes. The whole day was so much fun. By Cameron To find out more about community opportunities at AFC Bournemouth visit: or email Hannah; Disability Inclusion Development Officer on

The purrrfect day out Our visit to the cat cafe

Pause Cat cafe in Bournemouth is a super relaxed environment with calming music and really chilled out cats. Lots of our Chatterbox members had the pleasure of hanging out there for the evening and it was brilliant. The staff there are really nice and give clear information on all the wonderful cats that live in the cafe. Their rules are fair for the cats well being and the atmosphere is calm so if your anxiety is on the rise from a hectic week then this place is pawsome for a relaxing hour with cats. The chatterboxes really enjoyed the visit and highly recommend Pause cat cafe We LOVE cats. We had a drink close to the cats which was good. We were watching them when they slept and when some of them woke up. We could play with them and stroke them carefully. There was a black kitten which had just had surgery and it was wearing special clothes. The staff were very kind and nice. They are lovely because they gave us a badge from the place. We would all recommend going there because is nice, lovely and relaxing and everybody respects the cats. To find out more about Pause Cat Cafe visit: or email

Hear our young voices Hi, it’s Hatty here and I want to chat about the importance of Person-Centred Reviews in schools with young people who have special needs, like myself. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. “What is a Person-Centred Review (PCR)?”

Person-Centred reviews are used in schools to evaluate a young person’s needs. They have replaced the more daunting Annual Review that the person in question didn’t usually attend. These reviews are basically meetings that happen once a year and involve the professionals that a young person works with and is completely concentrated on them and the desires that they have for their future. Everyone that comes must listen to the young person’s voice and what they want. Their voice is the MOST IMPORTANT ONE in the room to be heard. The setting is relaxed allowing for freedom of speech from everyone.

“What is the process of a Person-Centred Review (PCR)?” The process of a PCR is to look at what’s important then and there and create an action plan for the young person’s future. They also help to highlight what IS working and IS NOT working for that person and the other people in that room.

“Why are Person-Centred Reviews (PCR’s) so important in schools?”

Person-Centred Reviews are important in schools because they show young people that their voices and opinions CAN make a difference to their futures; without having experienced the Person-Centred Review I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

“What did taking part in my PCR’s help me achieve?”

Taking part in my PCR’s has helped me to feel a sense of liberation as I know now that my voice carries power; my future has now changed as well because I was listened to and everyone else’s opinion counted too. It is now BRIGHT because of this experience of Person-Centred Reviews.

In my experience after doing this, we as a group could make a list of realistic goals and outcomes for me to work towards with my supportive Teaching Assistants. One of my main goals has been and will always be to gain as much INDEPENDENCE as I can; going to these meetings has shown me that my voice counts.

My parents always came as well to contribute their invaluable opinions on my school life and this helped me raise my points with power. Everyone there from my TA’s to my Social Worker had to make up a written report of how well they thought I was doing and I had to fill out a form on what I liked about school, what I wanted to achieve over the coming year and help I needed to do this.

The atmosphere in a PCR is a lot more chilled out and informal as everyone gets a chance to speak. The young person is also allowed to bring a form of edible snack.

I am known for my homemade chocolate mocha brownies and their own choice of music to put on while activities are being carried out; like filling out post-it notes telling the group what people like about the young person. My choice of music was always something peaceful so it could fit nicely in the background. All of this helps as it feels like a chat and less like a meeting about progress. It comes across as more optimistic; much better than the original Annual Review.

Peer Mentoring

It is a very exciting time for peer mentoring at The Chatterboxes Project. Recently, two more young people have completed their peer mentor training and have taken to their role with confidence and pride. Another 5 members who are already experienced and competent peer mentors, have recently undertaken a refresher course to develop their peer mentoring skills as well as reflecting on and improving their current mentoring program. Finally, a couple of these experienced peer mentors, who are particularly passionate about peer mentoring, are planning a residential conference where a group of young people will be designing a peer mentor training package specifically for young people with disabilities. James said: “I liked the peer mentor training. I learned some new skills (and words!) in the process. I now feel more confident, before I used to be a quiet guy and a bit left out but now I’m happy to join in and speak in the group. I wanted to become a peer mentor so that I can encourage young people to join The Chatterboxes and make them feel welcome when they come along. I like it that young people can come and talk to me about their problems�.

Workshops by young people, for young people. Over the last few months, Chatterbox members have been busy designing and delivering workshops within our session about topics they are really passionate about. Independent Travel: Crossing Roads Two of our older members; Keanu and Josh ran an interactive workshop about how to cross a road safely. They talked about “Stop, Look and Listen” and finding the safest places to cross, like using Pedestrian crossings. It was a great workshop with lots of laughter and giggles.

Learning the art of Manga

Michelle, one of our older members delivered a workshop about Manga. She spent time teaching everyone about how to draw a face using a Manga style of drawing; focusing on eyes, nose and mouth. It was lots of fun and Chatterbox members left feeling inspired to do more drawing in their free time. Film Making

Some of our younger members delivered a film making workshop where they shared the techniques they use to create videos. Members then had the chance to film different scenarios and each other. They hope to use these skills to film a new promotional video for the project. Matthew who took part said: “I thought today was something different for me because I have never been in a group before but I have enjoyed taking pictures of everybody and learning how to use the IPad and camera to make a film. Over the next few months Chatterbox members are busying designing workshops about accessibility, how to deal with stress, mental health and much, much more.

The creative challenge

We totally love to let our creativity go wild. Below are just a few drawings created by members. Within the magazine we have hidden one of the characters. Can you guess which character it is and where it’s hidden?

Muggy M el

Mr Watk ins

Betty B ug



Rosie Roe

on Mr Mo


ow Rainb




Brain Box



Issue 26 2017 magazine  
Issue 26 2017 magazine  

Welcome to Issue 26 of our Chatterbox Magazine 2017