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Youth Reps – 17th and 24th November

Firstly, we had an engaging session discussing what we can do in relation to our three manifesto aims:

Better Mental Health:

  • Raise awareness in young people – If young people are more aware of the issues, they can be more proactive in making change.
  • Provide information – PR campaign to spread the message.
  • Do this in the form of presentations and leaflets, signposting what help is available – Contacts for support agencies. Multimedia.
  • Do an interactive activity – A scenario based role play on what better mental health might look like.
  • This can be done in the town centre, clubs, schools, hospitals and other organisations like Project 28.
  • Take our ideas to local government, with a view to moving on a more national level by delivering to the houses of parliament.

Kinder Education System:

  • We can communicate with schools on what young people feel the problems are.
  • We can communicate with young people so they can talk to someone about it and not feel misunderstood.
  • This would be done by producing leaflets, pointing out what the signs might look like and who they can talk to.    
  • We can communicate with the teachers, so they are aware of the issue and know the signs.
  • This could be done with a handout, or leaflet, pointing out what the signs of them might look like.
  • A multimedia strategy is also a very effective tool we could use.             
  • Take our ideas to local government, with a view to moving on a more national level by delivering to the Houses of Parliament.      

More Youth Clubs and Activities:

  • Set up our own Youth Club.
  • This will be done by founding our own Social Enterprise. Firstly clearing things from the 117 basement, and then moving onto selling our own bespoke branded goods.
  • We will look at using volunteers to staff the club and activities.
  • Try to use mentors who have been through training and are DBS ready. Keeping costs to the minimum.
  • Find a centrally located venue to hold the club – Needs to be a big space with all essential amenities.
  • Needs to be a safe environment.
  • Risk assessments on young people and staff.
  • Clear rules: (a) Respect everyone and space (b) Clean up after yourself (c) No smoking, alcohol, or drugs.
  • Could hold activities like cooking – Profits to be reinvested back into project. Ball pit. Limited internet use – Hard line only, so they are not restricted by technology. Age appropriate games.

Well done guys!

And finally, please see how we took it one step further – This will be the action required in our three three fields:

Better Mental Health: 

Suggestions:

  • There should be a more flexible approach to the mental health (MH) treatment plan from professionals involved, eg the goal for a young person entering a six-treatment plan should not be defined for them in advance
  • The process involved in uptake of MH treatments should be more transparent for young people, eg they should be given clear waiting times and informed more about what will take place
  • Something should be done to reduce anxiety and stigma surrounding uptake of MH
  • MH professionals should be more passionate in their attitudes to young people.

 Goals for the Project:

  • To raise awareness of mental health issues
  • To get young people talking about these
  • To promote the concerns young people have about MH treatment at council and government level.

 People to approach for the Project, (in order of priority):

  • The Council, via our charity relationships
  • Young people, to get their views
  • People in relevant departments in government

Kinder Education System:

Suggestions:

  • There should be more understanding shown by teachers of young people’s difficulties at school.
  • There should be someone for young people to talk to when they are sent out of class.
  • Young people sent out of class should be spoken to by someone immediately and not left waiting for long periods of time. Young people struggling in class should be allowed time out.
  • The families of young people excluded from school should not be fined/punished. Academic pressure should be reduced at school.
  • Exclusion is a negative response to young people’s difficulties in school, leaving them feeling ‘stranded’.

Message for Project: ‘Kids are not machines’

Goal for Project:

  • To provide targeted and relevant teacher training for teachers by young people who have experience of difficulties in school.
  • To consult education professionals known to Mentoring Plus eg Jamie’s contacts at Bath Spa.

More Youth Clubs and Better Activities:

Suggestions:

  • Inventory of stock to be carried out 01/12/15
  • Involve mentees in generating cash – Identifying individual skill sets
  • Business plan / numbers – Establish budget
  • Visit Youth Clubs in the area to carry out a Q&A
  • Investigate closed down BANES buildings and see if there are any free for use
  • Extra training needed for volunteers – First aid / Appropriate Restraint
  • Do we charge? If so how much?
  • Control and management of young people attending

 

Flexible Timeline:

 

Jan / Feb 16 – Begin fundraising process / Ideas, leading onto practically raising funds

March 16 – Begin marketing strategy

April 16 – Pilot opening of Youth Club / Feedback session

May 16 – Process feedback and look into the viability of a long term project

Remaining flexible is key in maintaining our lofty ambitions!