Caitlin Ronan, member of the NHS Youth Forum has died peacefully in her sleep.
Caitlin was an extremely brave, inspiring and courageous young woman who achieved so much in her short life.
Caitlin’s application stood out when she applied to the NHS Youth Forum earlier this year, her courageous “I can do” attitude leapt off the pages as well as the profound positive difference she made to not only her own life, but to the lives of others. Caitlin successfully raised the money to fund her own Eyegaze system – a communication aid working on eye recognition technology. So successful was her fundraising, that she raised enough to fund a system for another young person, giving them hope, control and empowerment.
The NHS Youth Forum is delivered by the British Youth Council and works in partnership with NHS England to challenge and feed in ideas and solutions regarding heath care and services. The NHS Youth Forum has recently received international attention, as the only model of its kind in the world – a group of young people influencing health care services in such a way at a national level. The NHS Youth Forum was launched in March 2014 – the British Youth Council believed that we could and should do things differently to engage young people in the NHS and to amplify the voice of 15 million under 20-year-olds across England. You can find out more about our work here: https://www.byc.org.uk/uk/nhs-youth-forum or @NHSYouthForum #NHSYF
Caitlin was not able to physically attend meetings and residentials, however British Youth Council staff visited her at home and linked her in with the forum virtually. Caitlin received the weekly mail and was able to actively participate in a recent residential, through Skype. Caitlin seized the opportunity so that she could not only find out what others had been working on but so that she could actively contribute to discussions and build rapport with other members of NHS the youth forum.
Caitlin had expressed an interest in sharing her experiences to support positive developments for others and was particularly interested in transition. Work was planned for the near future to engage Caitlin in both of these areas.
Caitlin lit up the room. She will be missed, but not forgotten.