“The Darbyshire Report”: What Children and Young People told us about Rainbow Place. Philip Darbyshire
Hi and welcome from Philip, If you’ve downloaded this report, you want to see what children and young people though about Rainbow Place. I’ll start by telling you a bit about why we asked children and young people, and then I’ll show you all of things that they told us. I’m the Professor from Australia with the ‘funny Scottish accent’
We did this review because Rainbow Place wanted to find out if children and young people thought that it was good. We know that it’s really important to find out what kids think.
All over the world, children and young people are being asked for their views and ideas about things like health services and the adults who help them. Good!!
Because when you DON’T listen to them... …children are NOT happy!
So, we asked you to tell us about Rainbow Place. We did ‘interviews’, where we asked you questions and you told us things... And you filled in a ‘survey’ on the computer where you answered more questions. That’s a lot of work!
Here’s what you told us... We asked what you thought of the ‘look’ of Rainbow Place and its design. Most children and young people quite liked it, liked it, or loved it. But quite a few thought that it looked too much like a place for young children. They said that it should have better ‘spaces’ or rooms for teenagers.
“I like it to be for older kids too as i am 16 years old and get bored easily” “Well, I like the bright colours but it can sometimes seem a bit tacky with all of the toys and dolls, especially for a teenager.” “I like that the colours represents a sense of calm and kindness but it's not so colourful that it feels fake and happy when the times usually aren't.” “Needs to be less childish for the teenagers.” You said...
Almost everyone said that it was: “Much better than I was expecting” When we asked if Rainbow Place was what you thought it would be like...
You said... “It is good beacause you can meet other kids.” “Because I thought we would just learn but when I first went it was magnificint we did art I espshliy liked the food and drinks but my favrite was hanging out with Rainbow Place leaders and one more thing YOU ROCK!!!!” “I think it was much better because it is friendly fun and also helping you prepare for sad moments in life. It is warm welcoming and is very beautiful I love the different rooms and the art room it is awesome I love how rainbow place has christmas parties and teen groups and parties it is really fun.”
We asked if Rainbow Place was a good place to get help and support when things were tough...
You told us...‘Yes’ and then you told us what ‘support’ looked like... “Created an environment which provided an anchor.” “I love how thay do fun parties and activities it really helps and its calming”. “By making me smile and laugh a hole lot and not with my friends but with rainbow place.” “I like the fun stuff thay do there.” “Councilling helps because i can express my feelings.” “I loved rainbow place cause they teach things to me that no other person have ever taught me and also that they’ve been nice.” “I also like how thay have nice leaders and thay are funny.”
...and then you told us even more about what ‘support’ looked like... “They tried to give us fun activities to take our minds off our situations.” “Helped me know more intersting facts about feelings, know new people, make me good at art and loads of other things.” “Thay hellped me controll my sadness and emotions.” “Support when times are tough.” “They gave us time to speak and really listened to what we were saying.” “They helped me by learning to come out of my shell and not be shy and talk to new peaple that I never knew of.”
This comment was a really helpful one for Rainbow Place to hear: “All these things have on thing in common. Normalcy! When someone dies, or has a terminal illness life feels like it has gone haywire. The best thing is that Rainbow Place provides an anchor when things get tough and just helps the transition of dealing with this unexpected tragedy in our life.”
You also told us that fun was really important at Rainbow Place, but some things were missing. The teenagers really wanted to have more great ‘stuff’ like computers, Play Stations, Wii, X-Boxes, ipads and internet access to use them. Better DVD’s would be good too and some great magazines.
As well as those indoor things, you suggested some outdoor fun things too.... Like a good outdoor play area with some fun play equipment.
We asked you what you thought of Rainbow Place’s rooms that they use for ‘sleepovers’. You said that this was a good idea, but a lot of the children and young people didn’t really know much about them. The children who had used them said that they were good. You also thought that it would be good if young people at Rainbow Place could use them more, even for their own sleepovers with their friends.
What about the Counselling? Rainbow Place might be fun but it has got a ‘serious side’. You told us that you appreciated that and that the counselling and ‘talking’ was a big help. “I do enjoy talking to the leaders. At first it was scary but now they are nice and friendly to talk to.” “They provide advice from a source who isn't in the family and doesn't feel like they have to say it to make you feel better.” “They don’t judge you, I feel really safe.” “No-one was forcing you to 'talk about your feelings' unless you wanted to”.
So, now maybe you’re thinking...... What’s Rainbow Place going to do with all of these things that we told them???
What happens next Philip? In the big Report (you can download that from the same part of the website if you’d like) I have suggested lots of ideas and new things that Rainbow Place can do to make it even better for children and young people. These are called “Recommendations A-Z”. The staff of Rainbow Place are already thinking about how they can do all of these 26 things. One great thing about these recommendations and ideas is that you can help with some if you’d like.
Here is what Rainbow Place will do... Try to make Rainbow Place look more ‘teen-friendly’ and involve children and young people in doing this. Get more exciting computing and games ‘stuff’ that children and young people will help choose. Provide help and support to more children and young people. Have a ‘Young People’s Council’ where children and young people will ‘have a say’ in how Rainbow Place works
The whole point of asking children and young people to help with this ‘Review’ was to make Rainbow Place even