Growing2gether is making changes in the community, thanks to a grant from the Scottish Government and the European Social Fund. Three Growing2gether in the Community projects have been developed by our young people to bring attention to issues that they felt were important to them.
Mental Health Mural
The Charleston Academy group were inspired to create a mural on their school grounds that addresses the subject of mental health. After asking fellow pupils ‘what makes you happy?’ and ‘what makes you sad?’, they designed the mural based on the answers with the assistance of a talented pupil and a gifted visual artist. The school is fully supportive of this project and once it is finished, the mural will be a resource for young people who have concerns about their mental health, signposting them to organisations like Mikey’s Line, a local charity that supports people with mental health issues.
Teenage Pregnancy and Healthy Relationships
The group from Inverness Royal Academy made a film at Eden Court in Inverness with an actor hired by the young people, which brings to light the consequences of not using protection during sex. The group approached WAVE, a local sexual health service in Inverness, with their idea and they loved it, offering to support the group during the process and to host it on their website once it was finished. The film was shown at the Highland Youth Parliament Conference in June 2019 and WAVE want to continue to work with the group, to develop their film into a sex education resource that can become part of the school curriculum in the Highlands.
“Do you know what you’re taking?”
This is one of the questions that the Invergordon group is asking as part of their drug awareness campaign. The group worked with a local graphic designer to develop a series of posters to display in their school and in areas around the community where young people socialise. Their intention is to help young people question the impact of taking drugs – ‘Do they know what they are taking?’ ‘Do they know what they are dealing with?’ ‘Do they want to accept the risks involved?’ Rising to the challenge of promoting their campaign, they approached local shops and businesses, who all agreed to display their posters. They also use Social Media platforms such as Snapchat and the school Facebook page to support their campaign to reach as wide an audience as possible. They have also developed a survey for members of their community to determine the impact of the campaign.
Lucy’s Journey with Growing2gether in the Community
Lucy* is 14, and the youngest child in her family. She was brought up by her Mum and has no contact with her Dad. She is dyslexic and has been bullied in school. The ‘teen pregnancy’ video project is a topic close to her heart as her mum had two children by the age of 17. She has taken on the role of ‘director’ quite naturally and her assertiveness and confidence has grown. “I love directing and meeting people like Rhys Campbell, the Youth Development Officer and filmmaker on our project. This project has made me more aware that not everyone is OK when they are pregnant in their teens because their partners can leave them. I’m a lot closer to my mum because of the project as now I know what she went through. I’ve become more confident in myself, I feel more able to speak out now and I enjoy working in groups.”