Staff at Hart Lodge, part of the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys trust, have become the first NHS child learning disability team to gain Investors in Children accreditation.

The programme began in July 2005 when children and young people with disabilities from across Teesside were invited to share their ideas and help shape the services they receive.

It was agreed that further days would be arranged in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough and Stockton.

The group at Hart Lodge meet on a regular basis. During the sessions, the young people engage in creative tasks including art, role play and music. This enables them to develop a sense of who they are, what they need to live their lives and what they would like from services.

They have produced a picture board that shows which staff are in the building and the team they work for. The children's therapy room also received a facelift thanks to the team.

Clinical nurse specialist Robert Carr said: "Working towards the Investors in Children award is helping the young people to develop an awareness of their own health and well-being, while also creating new opportunities to form new relationships and develop the ability to work in new ways.

"As a result of being able to engage with services, the young people can see real change and that has greatly increased confidence and self-esteem."