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Celebrating 10 years of Participation this Care Day

10 years of participation at Five Rivers

This Care Day we join the world’s biggest celebration of children and young people with care experience and the amazing community of people in their lives who support them to achieve their full potential.

The Participation programme at Five Rivers is one of the proudest champions of Care Day and, to celebrate its 10th anniversary, we have been looking back at the incredible projects that our young people have undertaken to support it.

National Participation Lead, Olivia Doherty, has grown with Participation since it first began:

“Ten years on – participation with Five Rivers is a wonderful career. I find using a children’s rights approach to engaging children in the design and delivery of the service a wonderful combination. The balance of it being very value-driven, essential, and creative is a perfect combination. I see it a bit like using a bow and arrow – everything combined creates the correct velocity and energy in order to aim and shoot.

I believe this work breathes life into the organisation and ensures the service remains child-led. The work gives children and young people wonderful opportunities to gain valuable work experience, witness how engaging in democratic decision-making can bring about change, recognise that their views matter so that they are taken seriously, and what they experience, is validated by adults. Participation helps children to prepare to lead their individual lives as adults, and become part of a society that respects and cares for one another and their individual and collective experiences.”

Take a look at the thought-provoking and dynamic media from the last ten years here. Let’s celebrate our young people as these projects aim to #SnapTheStigma, educate, and remove the obstacles that care-experienced children encounter every day. 


Launch of the Children’s Participation Strategy and training in South West.


Launch of the National Participation strategy & children and young peoples ‘Welcome to Five Rivers’.

Welcome to your new home booklet


The first National Youth Council residential meeting happened in Salisbury.
We created the ‘Celebrating Diversity’ video.


The National Youth Council met the Board of Directors face-to-face for the first time.
The ‘Masks We Wear’ video was created as our first big celebration of Care Day.

Video still
This video comes with an advisory that some of the content can be triggering or upsetting.


We launched the Sons and Daughters booklet and film.

Children who foster booklet


The ‘Taking Back our Narrative’ Film was released. A collection of poetry written by our young people.

This year also saw the launch of the ‘Care to Listen‘ podcasting channel! This was a fantastic new media that had our young people take on interviews with inspirational figures in the care community and discuss a huge range of topics they felt were important.


The Care to Listen Podcast evolved and this year produced episodes focussing on celebrating care leavers, sons and daughters of fostering families.



The launch of our Children and Young People’s Diversity Inclusion and Equity Strategy which resulted in the ‘Diversity Role Model’ podcast, exploring identity.

This resource booklet was created all about exploring gender and sexual identity.

Exploring gender booklet


The ‘Proud to be Me’ Care Day in 2022 was celebrated with a projections project and a piece of original music – 100,000 raindrops.

Care day projections 2022


The stunning puppetry film ‘Don’t Forget Us’ was created by our young people with a local puppeteer group.

This film was written and voiced by all the young people involved in the project and the final video was projected onto buildings across the country for the public to see.

2024 and beyond…

Funding the Participation program to support these projects for young, care-experienced people to get involved in is so important in allowing their voices to be heard and championed. From the residential trips to days out and even online sessions – it brings new friends together to think about their identities and the issues they face to begin creating the narratives they want to hear around care.

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