Aspire4U CIC, an organisation using the arts to develop mindsets towards wellbeing, financial literacy and employability, were awarded £5,000 from the Positive Futures Fund to work with young people with lived experience in dealing with mental health issues.

The grant specifically enabled Aspire4U to provide youth-led sessions by training five young, ethnic minority carers to become Community Action Leaders and produce resources to support the mental wellbeing of other young people. Kit Showande, Director of Aspire4U, explained:

“We build a network of young people that have received support therapy from us and then come back to lead our sessions. They’ve trained at a mental health foundation in London and they all got paid work from it.

 

“We’re seeing young people lead the conversations with each other as they have a repertoire of training, we can then keep giving them training opportunities and that’s a gateway to a career.”

The project has enabled the young people to create a community to share their experiences with mental health via their ‘HealHub’ virtual sessions. Kit continued:

“They’ve discussed what to expect from therapy, and the people who’ve been through therapy are helping to create the resources too because they’re able to say what to expect, what actually happens in it, because I don’t think there’s any way that young people can know what it’s actually like.”

Dre, one of the trainee Community Action Leaders has been in the care system since age 11 due to his mother’s ill health. Kit explained:

“He was kicked out of school by 15, originally from Liverpool they moved him down to here, he’s never known his dad, so he was living with a foster carer up until now at 19, he’s left the care system and he’s on his own but his communication is improving everyday and is training with us to become a trainer himself.

 

“This funding has allowed for more young people to discover more about themselves and take control of their own wellbeing, meaning they’re not over using other resources such as NHS and are less likely to be involved in crime and are actively trying to find jobs.”

If you’d like to apply for funding please view our Available Grants here.

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