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Active - Children and young people’s board (Paediatrics)

Children's services A-Z

Active is the children and young people’s board at Cambridge University Hospitals.

Active logo
  • Want to make a difference for kids at Addenbrooke’s?
  • Got any bright ideas?
  • Aged 8-18 years?
  • Why not join ACTIVE? Who are we?
  • We are children and young people just like you.

Some of us are or have been patients, some of us are thinking about working in a medical career, some of us are just interested and want to make a difference. The key idea for ACTIVE is that no one knows what a child wants or needs better than a child.

What do we do?

Active help by making the hospital better for children and young people while they are ill.

Barney, aged 9

Making a difference for children in hospital. “Active is a great opportunity to work with people of different age groups. During my time with Active, not only have I developed skills like leadership, teamwork, communication and time management, but I also had the chance to bring my own ideas forward, to make a difference for patients at Addenbrooke’s.” - Active Leader.

Having an input. Sharing your ideas and work on projects and seeing them come to life. "Active is good for improving your communication skills, you can be part of a team and a wider community of young people with a common aim and have your voice heard" – Alessandra, Active Leader.

At Active you can develop your own project management skills and it's never boring. It’s a place that can help you understand what you think is important and then work with other people to make it better. There is always something to get involved with and be passionate about as there are so many aspects of hospital life.

Maanya, Active Leader

Visiting around the hospital to learn how things work working with hospital staff and learning about their jobs. "I really enjoyed visiting parts of the hospital that you don’t usually get to see like the research buildings" Alexander, aged 10.

Developing your personality and taking opportunities for personal development. "ACTIVE has expanded my horizons of medical knowledge." Lucy, aged 14.

At Active there are regular meetings and opportunities to work with staff . "We get to see a little of what life really is like for children in hospital - and how we as children ourselves can help improve the facilities available to paediatric wards." Lucy, aged 14.

Active is a ‘good opportunity to meet new people, good to see how your ideas develop and get considered and make a difference for patients at CUH.

Grace, aged 16

Recent projects include: Producing child friendly information for children coming to the hospital. Improving waiting areas for children and young people all around the hospital. Working on getting children’s feedback about their experiences as patients. Getting involved with patient led assessments of hospital wards/clinics. We are proud of two large projects that are not only helping staff in this trust care for children and young people but also anyone looking for ideas for more effective communication with teens.

Currently we are back meeting face-to-face, working on a variety of projects to improve child and young person patient experience.

Recent meetings have been focused on improving the physical environments of healthcare settings, raising the profile of play across the whole hospital site and also the quality of written information that is available for children of different age groups.

We are always looking for innovative ways to entertain and inform children and young people about hospital; for example we have worked with staff on how we can present information to young people about supporting their mental wellbeing.

As a result we co-produced three leaflets which you can see on our patient information leaflet A-Z.

Due to the unique nature of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus where CUH is housed we have also been able to work with a variety of local partners who are also seeking engagement with young people such as our university and research partners, education and more.

Collage showing Active group participating in a range of creative activities at a 'play in hospital' workshop

This year we hosted a ‘play in hospital’ workshop at the Cambridge Academy Science and Technology as part of the University of Cambridge Festival in March.

The purpose was to raise the profile of play to staff across the whole service in post covid times and coproduce with families ideas for age specific  play opportunities for children and young people.

ACTIVE young leader John holding poster of findings presented at the CUH International Nurses Day 2023.
John, one of our Active young leaders with our poster of findings presented at the CUH International Nurses Day 2023.