March 05, 2019
Action for M.E. hosted a reflection and development meeting on 23 February as part of Educate M.E. - a one year project set up to develop and deliver awareness raising sessions in secondary schools in Scotland. The meeting was organised by the project’s leaders, Avril and Theresa, and was attended by its parent steering group, a young person with M.E. who helped inform the project and members of our staff.
Funded by the National Lottery Fund, the project is reaching its conclusion and this event was an opportunity to review the process of working together, what had been achieved by the group and ask how this work could be developed in the future. The event had presentations on project outcomes, next steps and potential solutions to overcome barriers in accessing education for young people with M.E.
The steering group identified that an online school in Scotland was a key goal for them. It was also acknowledged that this might not suit all children and that there needed to be flexibility and a mixture of approaches. The group wanted to see Action for M.E. continue our awareness raising sessions in schools, website update and advocacy for equal access to education. Crucially they wanted to ensure that the experiences of the young people who responded to the Educate M.E. survey were central in any decisions our organisation made moving forward and that we find new ways to reach and support young people.
When we asked people what they valued about being involved in the project, the group reflected that they valued being listened to and having a chance to contribute to something that they felt passionately about; whilst working alongside others who had similar experiences. This had been a powerful experience for many of them and gave them a platform where they could make use of the research, learning and experience they had of the condition. Working to improve things for others living with similar experiences proved to be very meaningful for the group. It was felt that this project had been an important starting place but that it was only a first step in uncovering the full picture of what is needed to support young people living with M.E.
The project’s resources and information will be available in May, when we will be launching our webpage for educators. For more information please contact Theresa@actionforme.org.uk
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