A group of young Cantabrians want more people to help them make the Canterbury Health System better for others their age.
The Canterbury District Health Board's Youth Advisory Council (YAC) are a group of young people who have all had experience with the health system and are on a mission to make it better for everyone.
Brittany Kremers, YAC chair and Maddy Conway, a member, says the council is made up of members aged 14 to 24 years who are keen to gain more of a profile in 2016 and grow its numbers.
Brittany says young people often feel they don't have a voice when it comes to health care and the YAC's goal is to change that.
"We have all spent our fair share of time in hospital for a multitude of health reasons. Our aim is to improve the experiences young people have when they come to hospital," Brittany says.
Maddy says most young people do not want to be in hospital. A prolonged illness or injury requiring an extended hospital stay takes the young person away from their everyday lives.
"It's isolating, unfamiliar and often really scary," Maddy says.
Brittany says this is why YAC wants to be able to help those looking after young people to understand what matters to them.
"Whether for some of us that is a comforting smile and hand on the shoulder, or reassurance visitors are welcome," Brittany says.
The council's goal is to ensure the support and information for hospitalised youth is readily available.
"To help us reach our goals to make it better for other young adults while they are in hospital, we need to grow our numbers so that we will have representatives from right across the health system.
"We are enthusiastic to get our name out there are to work alongside the Canterbury DHB to improve health care for young people by explaining to those delivering the care, what matters to us."
If you would like more information about YAC, have suggestions, or know somebody keen to join, please feel free to email YAC on firstname.lastname@example.org
Caption: Youth Advisory Council members
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