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young person at training session

03 June 2020

At London Youth we absolutely believe in the power young people have to lead positive change. Last week, I highlighted six examples of social action projects led young people on our youth advisory board both before and during the pandemic. You can read that blog here.

This week, in celebration of the #PowerOfYouthDay and the launch of a new round of London Youth Microgrants, I will be highlighting 9 young people from across our membership who have used Microgrant funding to create change within their communities.

Applications are now open for young people who would like £400 funding to use their passion, drive and power to promote positive mental wellbeing and help create a better future for themselves and others in their community.

1. Venetia from Centre for Armenian Information & Advice (CAIA) has been delivering Zoom workshops to help equip young people and their families with healthy ways to discuss mental health

“The project aim is to improve and promote positive mental health by encouraging young people to talk about their concerns and emotions, creating trust and improving communications between young people and parents. People need to know that it’s ok to talk about what is a ‘taboo’ subject within the Armenian community.”

2. Simone from Spotlight is working with a team to create a music video with original lyrics to help explain the effects of selected mental illnesses.

“The video will be about siblings with bipolar disorder and depression. We’ll use the video and lyrics to explore the different feelings associated with these conditions and how this affects their lives. We think this is something that young people would be interested in and would actually listen to/watch.”

3. Elizabeth from Sapphire Community Group sent care packages to girls from her youth centre who have had to social distance.

“I was able to find new creative ways with my youth worker on how to help people my age with their mental health and wellbeing even in this time where it seems like a lot of people are struggling with anxiety.”

4. Jamil from Palace for Life hosted a dinner for the homeless at Christmas time.

“I learnt how to manage money, organise an event, publicised an event, interact with people, network with other people in the community, and contact local businesses for donations. I learnt that I can achieve anything I put my mind to with some support and confidence.”

5. Jordan from The Wickers Charity lead a series of beauty workshops for young people in her local community so that they can learn how to look after themselves better and improve their confidence.

“This will allow the girls to learn all the things that they aren’t taught, as well as working on their ego so they become more positive and less negative.”

6. David from The Wickers Charity led a project that encouraged people to work together to create a robot.

“During the robotic workshop, I promoted positive mental health and well-being for those that took part by providing an opportunity to ethnic minority groups to help develop their skills for the future.”

7. Chelsea from Mitcham Town Community Trust held dance workshops for young people in her community

“The one thing I would love to promote is for the children who struggle with learning, mental health and even just stress is that dance can help to relieve some of those symptoms. Express yourself and your emotions through dance.”

8. Hallie from Streatham Youth and Community Trust co-led a series of sessions on fitness and discussion leading up to a residential to talk about mental health with young people who attend her youth centre.

“It encouraged young people to talk about this issue and let them know that it’s ok. It educated young people in the local community and helped them learn something new through fun activities.”

9. David from AlexZ Educational ran a one-off mental health and wellbeing day to provide people with activities to help look after themselves at home.

“The activities were very good and people [were] pleased to be able to play with their creativity alongside friends or people they have never met before. Through art they could speak the same language. A language of happiness and joy.”

The London Youth Microgrants offers a range of support including flexible applications and training in order to ensure any young person who is awarded the grant feels confident and comfortable being a leader – even whilst social distancing. There is also guidance and £250 funding on offer for the youth organisation that supports the project.

This round of the London Youth Microgrants, we’re particularly interested in funding young people who identify as male, have a disability or who have never led a social action project before. You can get involved in the next round of the London Youth Microgrants by applying here.

If you have any questions please contact Kadisha.james-fergus@londonyouth.org

– Kadisha, Youth Action Delivery Officer