Prioritising young people’s health
The Health and Wellbeing of young people has always been a primary concern for The Warren. This is why in the past six years alone, we have supported more than 17,000 young people around health issues and living healthier lifestyles. For example our HealthBeat Project really was a ‘health project with a twist’, supporting young people to look at their heath and making safer choices in a fun, creative and different way. Far removed from the perception that health is medical, boring and stuffy, Health Beat strived to use exciting methods such as drama, discussions and creative activities to make young people’s health something they could be excited about.
Health Beat believed that health could mean anything from cutting down on smoking, keeping yourself safe and knowing your limits on a night out, to feeling good about yourself and surviving on a tight budget. Health Beat worked predominantly around issues including mental health, sexual health, alcohol and drug misuse, self-harm, self-esteem, confidence, assertiveness, cooking on a budget and everything in between.
Some of health beats most memorable projects included:
- ‘Let’s talk about it!’ a ‘Flash mob’ style street theatre piece performed around the city educating the public around the stigma of mental health issues.
- ‘For Cook’s Sake!’, our cookbook produced by and for young people to help individuals and families on a low budget cook cheap, healthy and easy meals with little resources.
- Outreach work: Providing long-term outreach around the city meeting young people who were marginalised and unable to access our services in their own hostels.
- ‘Gender Flip’: Workshops in which male and female young people answered gender specific questions about the opposite gender which they had always wanted to ask.
- The 4 hour no Smoking Challenge: an intense challenge featuring several hilarious mini-challenges, showing young people the health benefits of just 4 hours smoke-free.
- ‘Let’s Talk about Sex, Baby!’ Our week long dedicated sexual health, sexuality and relationships themed week, looking at all aspects on young people’s health, which engaged 289 young people.
This is just a snap shot of some of the work Health beat undertook. However, sadly due to a loss of funding, the Health Beat Project ended in 2014. However, here at The Warren, we are committed to meeting young people’s needs, and still facilitate health work with and for young people to help young people feel good and have a healthy, positive and resilient outlook.
As one young person stated:
“Health Beat wasn’t just learning what to eat and saying No to drugs. It was about me working with the team to learn to manage stress, love myself as I am and learn to cope with some of the things life threw at me. Heath wrk at the Warren is fun and exciting, I’d rather come here to talk about drugs or my sexuality than go to a doctors. Even without Health Beat, I know I can talk to staff I trust abut my health and what’s going on and get honest, accurate and non-judgemental feedback.” – Young man, aged 22.
For more information about Health work within the Warren, please don;’ hesitate to contact us on 01482 218115 or Email our Lead Healthworker Heidi Ireland E: Heidi@thewarren.org