New Big Lottery Grant Awarded Action For Kids new advocacy project is launched The project is funded by the Big Lottery Fund over three years. It will support young disabled people to gain more skills to self-advocate, make decisions, increase their self-esteem and lead more independent lives as they enter adulthood. There are a number of policies and national strategies which place much emphasis on young people’s wishes, feelings and participation in decision making being central to developing their plans at school and beyond. However the voice of young people is still often over shadowed by that of parents and professionals. “Many young people are already able to speak up for themselves quite well and have their own ideas about working and living independently when they leave school but often lack the skills to have their voice and views genuinely listened to”, says Kate Jackson, Action for Kids' Advocacy Development Manager. “For those young people who don’t use words to speak, the need to develop a range of materials to help them communicate their wants, needs and wishes is vital.” All people are very different from each other. Their needs for support are different, and may change during their life. Having the ability to make decisions about their future and plan for better life outcomes is something this project hopes to address. The project will focus on a range of advocacy delivery techniques such as self-advocacy and peer advocacy to empower young people and increase their confidence. The Big Lottery Fund grant will also enable Action For Kids to provide some case advocacy to work on specific issues that young people require extra support with as they enter the next phase of their adult lives.