2003 Introducing NDD
The KIDS National Development Department (NDD) was born of the KIDS and Kidsactive merger in the summer of 2003.
Kidsactive was an independent charity promoting inclusive play and leisure for disabled children through adventure playgrounds throughout London and a training and publications service largely funded through the Playwork Inclusion Project (PIP). It also contributed policy direction to local and national government through various steering groups and committees in partnership with other third sector organisations.
After the merger, Kidsactive split into two parts: the adventure playgrounds were absorbed into KIDS London while the training, publications and policy work (incorporating PIP) became KIDS' new NDD. PIP had been running since 2001 under various pieces of government funding from what is now called the Department for Education. Then, as now, it provides guidance and support to local authorities including the National Inclusion Forum and the National Inclusive Play Network, a series of meetings, seminars and conferences hosted by KIDS.
Another service funded by the Big Lottery Fund and hosted by KIDS was the Young People's Inclusion Network (YP-in). YP-in was originally conceived in 2004 as a project examining how well young disabled people were being included in youth and leisure services, the perception being that their voices were being overlooked compared to those of their non-disabled peers. A bid was submitted to the BIG Lottery Young People's Fund and secured £1.5 million over a three-year period.
YP-in ran from Christmas 2005 to early 2009, with the bulk of its work focusing into a three-year project. The first year concentrated on meeting with young people across the five regions in which KIDS operated to discuss key issues experienced by young disabled people in their typical daily lives, such as transport and leisure facilities. The second year continued this work, drawing more on the expertise of other voluntary organisations, including PhotoVoice, a charity which works with individuals, local communities and partners to create participatory photography. This resulted in a series of regional showcases and a final national exhibition of the best work at Londonís Novas Gallery. In the third year, this consultative and practical work was pulled together to create a comprehensive online toolkit, written by young disabled people and aimed at professionals who would like to work more inclusively.
Click here to read about how the YP-in project gave one young disabled man the opportunity to work and grow his independence.
The legacy of YP-in survives today through our work with Youth 4 U and the Nothing Special online guidance which young people helped develop. Transitions magazine, originally established by the project is also still published three times a year. Created by, and aimed at, young disabled people, it examines core issues like relationships and sexuality, identity and independence in a distinctive and relevant style all of its own.