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Power to Change project

4 Jul 2024

We first met SM during a media session at a residential care home and it was SM first week there, SM was very anxious and was suffering with mental health issues, SM was seemed to be in a dark place, however despite this SM still engaged in the podcasting session and seem to open up immediately about some of the issues that dictated the direction of SM life.

It was quickly evident from the conversation we were having during the podcasting session that there was also an issue with recreational drug use.

Over the next few months, SM began to excel not just with the podcasting but in everyday life, each time seeming more upbeat and SM quickly began wanting more, telling me that SM had a passion for photography, so we then decided that SM would benefit more from doing some more one-to-one work so we could focus on the element of media SM is more interested in and also give use the opportunity to work on the issues that have led SM to this point, such as the recreational drug use and the what is triggering the mental health issues, as though media and conversation we believe we can begin to combat these issues.

SM began attending one-to-one sessions weekly learning about photography, podcasting and building a C.V, we also spent time on some things we sometimes overlook such as cooking and budging money, but more than mostly we worked on SM’s confidence and getting out into the community to give SM a purpose.

Since this work has begun SM is now on the road to being recreational drug free, budgets their finances more affectively and is now a regular volunteer at one the community groups, Leicestershire Cares community development team support by way of delivering intergenerational media session to people who are homeless and have mental health issues and SM has also applied to do some independent voluntary work at charity shops in the city centre as SM understands the importance of having a healthy C.V and voluntary work helps build a healthy C.V. This work is one of the major changes in SM’s life and is now displaying more confidence and an eagerness to get on with life and excel.

However since we began writing this case study there has been some hiccups with SM firstly SM was repeated caught smoking cannabis at SM residential care setting which has led SM to being evicted and now homeless, however we at Leicestershire Cares have continued to supported SM though this process and have attempted to help SM get new accommodation to no avail thus far, however SM is now staying with a family member on a temporary basis so we know that SM is safe and SM see's us twice a week.

Despite this setback SM remains upbeat and understands that what has just happened was of SM’s own doing and has taken responsibility for SMs own actions and is still doing everything SM has planned to do, i.e. intergenerational workshops at sound café and engaging with our other groups and even volunteering whenever possible, joining our content creator group weekly and attending the festivals we support with media and artists, SM has become a pretty good photographer and displays these skills at the events we attend, this in itself is a great achievement for SM as SM is interacting with other young people same age group as SM, confidence is high, self esteem has increased and SM is on track to achieve all the things SM wants to achieve in life.

Also, since the setback of losing SMs place at the residential home, SM has stepped up and understands what needs to be done and has now joined up to Turning Point to get more help and help with substance abuse and is now started doing course work to address SMs issues attending weekly group sessions and finally getting SMs depression medication sorted.

Life can sometimes be a roller coaster with its ups and downs, and it is easy to forget sometimes that the young people we work in this sector have complexed needs and visible trauma but a lot of the time the trauma is invisible and hidden from the world and one of the important things to remember is once we recognise our trauma we can deal with it.

SM - “I see now that my problems are no different to other people’s problems and we all can face the same issues in life and I need to remain focused and believe there is always a solution.”

Aaron Todd Youth & Community development officer

#TNLF #Togetherwecan #Powertochangeproject