A group of young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) came together to celebrate the launch of a survey at Central Library on Monday 8 January.

Portsmouth SEND Local Offer launched the survey at a drop-in event where children and young people were able to receive support to complete it. The data from the survey will be used to improve existing services and introduce new ones.

Councillor Suzy Horton, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education at Portsmouth City Council said:

“Those aged 13-25 years old with additional needs deserve to have the very best support on their journey towards independence. This survey will help us understand the impact of what is already offered in the city but what opportunities there are to support these young people moving forwards.

“The Local Offer website already signposts useful resources that can make a real difference to their lives but there is always more we can do.”

Dynamite, a young person’s group that works with 14-25 year olds in the city, is encouraging people to have their say as part of the survey.

Cameron Locke, chairperson at Dynamite said:

“It is essential children and young people share their views on the services that support them. If we engage with this group of people at an earlier stage, we can make sure what services are created are fit for purpose.

“The survey is just one way we reach children and young people, including regular meetings, events and activities that brings everyone together throughout the year.”

The survey can be completed through the Local Offer website. Alternatively, those who don’t have access to the internet can attend a special drop-in event at Central Library on Wednesday 24 January (2pm – 5:30pm) and Wednesday 14 February (10am – 12:30pm).

Matthew Sidwell, a young person who attended the launch event, said:

“I think it is important to be able to have my say as I feel it makes a real difference. If you are aged 13-25 years old and live in Portsmouth, I would encourage everyone to get involved as soon as possible.”

If a child or young person is unable to complete the survey, paper versions are available. The deadline for the survey is Monday 25 March.

For more information on the Portsmouth SEND Local Offer young person’s survey and drop-in events, please visit www.portsmouthlocaloffer.org/survey