The Children's Society has launched a website, www.mylife.uk.com, where children and young people under 18 can voice their concerns on issues that matter to them. It is part of the charity's Good Childhood Inquiry, which aims to develop an understanding of what makes a good childhood in modern Britain.
The launch of the website on 14 February was accompanied by publication of the highly publicised report on children's wellbeing that ranks the UK last out of 21 wealthy countries. The report was produced with Unicef, which has been working with the Children's Society on the issue. Visitors to the website can answer questions and expand on their thoughts through online forums. They can also download 'celebrity vodcasts', videos featuring well-known faces sharing their thoughts on childhood. The questions on the site will change every two months to reflect one of the six main themes of the inquiry: friends, family, learning, lifestyle, health and values.
The society has also produced a postcard to complement the website. Children are invited to write or draw their responses to questions on the card, which can be sealed and sent to a freepost address. Responses from the website and postcards will be summarised and presented to the inquiry panel, which will produce the final report and recommendations in autumn 2008.
Bob Reitemeier, chief executive of the Children's Society, says: "The Good Childhood Inquiry just wouldn't be credible without the voice of children as a part of it."