Sonia Mainstone-Cotton

Early years participation trainer & consultant

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children’s nurture and wellbeing
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Mummy's Got Bipolar.
Click here to view Mummy's Got Bipolar animation on YouTube. Sonia on Twitter: @sonia_main Sonia on Instagram: @mainstonecotton

I have broad experience in working with services- schools, early years, health, social care and the voluntary sector in helping them to develop and embed their participation practice. I can work with you to develop how you listen to children and young people and how this can improve your work and outcomes. I am able to advise and assist you on your participation practice. I am able to work alongside your staff and children and young people to create ways to improve this area of your practice. I have a lot of experience in working with children and young people in creative ways, through working with them creatively myself and also working alongside artists with children and young people. I have wide experience of consulting directly with children and young people across the ages around issues such as developing new play areas, developing new buildings/ housing estates, improving services. I use a wide variety of creative methods to find out the

views of children and young people. I can deliver this work for you or I can advise you on how to deliver it.


I am able to work with your organisation and carry out an independent review of your organisation.




Recent services I have worked with

Off the Record - Bath


Bath Youth for Christ


Life project - Bath




"I can thoroughly recommend Sonia Mainstone-Cotton’s work. Sonia recently audited the involvement of young

people in our work. She was very thorough, meeting all staff, lots of young people and our trustees, which was

brought together in a report on our work. The report was really useful in terms of encouraging us where we were

doing well and challenging us where there is room for improvement. Sonia, however went further than simply

writing a report with helpful recommendations, she also helped us to think about how to put the recommendations

into place with practical tools to be applied in the context of our youth work and mentoring. The audit experience

culminated in a half day workshop, which was not only a good team exercise but enabled all staff to consider the

importance of involving young people in their work. Thank you Sonia."




Examples of work I can deliver


Consulting with children and young people to find out their views on your service.


(This can be used to improve your service and for tenders and bids)


involving children and young people in staff recruitment


Involving children and young people in designing new play areas/ buildings/ developments


Facilitating conversations with children and young people to hear their views


Working with children and young people on creative arts projects