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Children’s voices in urban resilience: understanding children and young people's knowledge and agency in the flood recovery process Will Medd, Marion Walker,

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Presentation on theme: "Children’s voices in urban resilience: understanding children and young people's knowledge and agency in the flood recovery process Will Medd, Marion Walker,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Children’s voices in urban resilience: understanding children and young people's knowledge and agency in the flood recovery process Will Medd, Marion Walker, Rebecca Sims (Lancaster); Sue Tapsell (Middlesex University); Jo Moran-Ellis and Kate Burningham (University of Surrey)

2 Two-year study using interviews, diaries and group discussions to explore people’s experiences of long-term flood recovery Explores issues of vulnerability and resilience Builds an archive But where are the children? The background Flood, vulnerability and urban resilience: a real-time study of local recovery following the floods of June 2007 in Hull

3 A)It’s a laugh “Any kid worth his salt would have had his trunks on the day of the floods...I really wanted to play in the water but I couldn’t cos I’m an adult” (Taxi driver) Emerging issues about children and young people

4 B) It’s traumatic “When we told Edward it would be six more weeks and then we could move back home he started to pack his toys away! I don’t think anybody realised how much the floods and the move affected Edward. He still gets upset and very protective of me every time it rains. He has just started Cubs so it means he can see his friends more like he used to, because we lived so close to all his friends he is isolated in the rented house and spends a lot of time on his computers or watching the TV.” (Melanie, diary) Emerging issues about children and young people

5 Children's Voice and Building Resilience Few accounts of the social impacts of flooding consider children and young people’s perspectives. This project works with children and young people in Hull to explore their experiences of flood, flood recovery and their ideas about the future. We are interested in how they have coped and the role they can play in building future resilience.

6 Aims and Objectives Explore children and young people's experiences of flood and flood recovery. Analyse their accounts of formal and informal support in enabling or inhibiting resilience during the recovery process. Evaluate the lessons learnt by key agencies in the delivery of services for children and young people. Extend the existing archive to enable children and young people’s voices to become part of the flooding debate and contribute to future research and policy.

7 Methodology 1 primary school, 1 secondary school and a youth group Storyboards (46) Child-centred interviews (46) Group discussions (interviewees in small groups) Interviews with teachers/service providers

8 Jack’s story CBBC Newsround 110000/newsid_8116500/8116590.stm


10 Hayley – a sense of agency “My other brother would have been just two...He couldn’t walk for the water, it was up to there [gestures thigh- high] on him… I carried him. Because he wanted to go out and do fishing so I said ‘just sit on my back and I’ll take you’… I wore three quarter trousers… I think I used about fifteen pairs of trousers just getting out and in [of the house]. Because I didn’t want to stay in because it would just be boring so I thought I’d just go out.” “I think we got closer as a family in a way because we were all together and we talked about it as well.”

11 Tom – agency disrupted MSo when you got back how did you feel...? TWell I felt quite devastated because we had a door, but they knocked the door and like some of the wall down and I thought, why have they done that? And I walked through and I just looked out, I could see straight through the kitchen, straight through the conservatory into my garden. And I was quite devastated because I didn’t actually feel that they’d have to do something like that. MSo you didn’t realise it was going to be like that? TNo.

12 Tom – agency disrupted TI don’t want it to happen again … because I know it was hard for my mum and dad and I think if it did happen again it would be worse because they’ve only just started to get over it. MWhat was the worst thing about it for you? TLeaving my mum and dad to do it all. Because my dad’s mum, my Nanna had died and the funeral was for the day that it flooded. And they couldn’t get down our street to go to the funeral but the place where the funeral was that was all flooded as well. So they had to postpone that to a different day. MSo… it must have been really difficult for your dad. TYes, my dad and his two brothers.

13 Darren: “Scary” B So how about your home Darren, because obviously your home got flooded as well, did you lose anything in the floods? DWe lost our settee, our telly, we lost our carpets so we were on cold floor and we had loads of builders in… BWere you living upstairs while the builders were there, what was that like? DReally, really scary… After a while, my mum stayed there to keep an eye on the house and I went to my Nanna’s and stayed there for a bit. BOh did you, while the builders were in? Why was it scary when the builders were in? DBecause we never knew them at home, we didn’t know what they were going to be like and how long they were going to be. BSo it was like having different people in your house. Yes I bet that’s really unsettling actually.

14 Darren: Helping at home BWhat sort of things did you have to do then that was different? DI needed to, like when you take the kettle upstairs, the cups and tidy up and that lot from the builders and get rid of all the dust and everything. BOh so you were helping like clean up after the builders? DI liked it when the builders were in because we got a brand new kitchen.

15 Jenny: Playing on the bumps MSo what was it like then when you were playing out? Did you go out and play and everywhere was wet or? JI didn’t really get wet, the bumps, it was flooded the road, that was like the next day and then, and the bumps were only showing and I kept jumping on the bumps because I jumped from the path, the path was shallow and then I walked through the path with my friend and we kept jumping on the bumps for like roads. MOh right, are they like, are these the bumps in the road to slow the cars down? JYes they were like islands.

16 A child’s perspective? What is flood? Different ways of defining and understanding the flood event itself No such thing as ‘a child’s perspective’. Children’s experiences are many and varied. It’s important to contextualise floods in the rest of their lives So it’s about shifting boundaries and considering alternative accounts of flood Their perspectives also change over time

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