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Volunteer of the month – March 2017

starWe have decided to share a volunteers story and to thank them for going the extra mile, by nominating a ‘Volunteer of the month’ each month. This month it is our volunteer, Alex – read below to find out how amazing he has been.

Alex has been part of The HUB as a volunteer for a long time, during which he has raised a huge amount of money through fundraising. He has also supported young people through mentoring. Not only has Alex raised a large amount of money, but he has also benefitted lots of young people through his non-judgemental and charming personality. He has been a dedicated, hardworking volunteer and he is now sadly moving back to the UK. We all wish Alex a huge amount of luck in his next adventure, but are so sad to be losing him as a volunteer. Thank you Alex, we will miss you greatly.

 

Tales from the Sunflower Project

 Tales from the Sunflower Project

 memory jars

When a group comes to an end there is a chance to step back and consider what has been achieved. The #BCD Sunflower Project group has given us lots to reflect on.  In January, five children dealing with the death of a father came together for six, weekly sessions.   From the start there was a sense of optimism.  Everyone was excited about being with other children who really understand how it feels when your dad has suddenly been torn out of your life.  How can your friends and classmates even begin to understand how you are feeling?  How are you meant to explain to them what it’s like?  Probably for the first time since their loss they didn’t have to pretend or dread an awkward remark.

There was a sense of sharing from the very first session when we chose a name for the group, made tentative introductions and started to fill individual scrap books. By the last sessions the children had created a safe environment to talk about how they were feeling and the things they can do to feel better.  The final half hour of the last session included their mums.  We went through the scrapbooks and to provide a glimpse of what had been achieved.  It was an emotional session with some very proud parents.   Staff and volunteers were also moved by the #BCDs .

If anyone doubts the value of group work the #BCD Group made a pile of postcards encouraging other bereaved children to take a chance and attend a Sunflower Project group. We asked them to make postcards to say, ‘Why you would encourage someone else who had lost a mum or dad to come to a group?’  Some of the many suggestions included:  ‘It’s not as scary as you think’, ‘It’s not just about talking’ and ‘You’re not alone’.  Of course they also mentioned the tasty snacks, the fun games and activities and the wonderful volunteers.

If you know a child or young person who has experienced the death of a parent or sibling please encourage them to at least find out a bit about the group. As the children said ‘it’s not as scary as you think and it helped us feel better.’

Contact: Denise at The HUB for more information.

 post card

Volunteer of the month – February 2017

star

We have decided to share a volunteers story and to thank them for going the extra mile, by nominating a ‘Volunteer of the month’ each month. This month it is our volunteer, Rosie – read below to find out how amazing she has been.

Rosie is a relatively new volunteer, after completing her induction training in July 2016, she has gotten stuck in with mentoring. Rosie took on her first mentee in November which is a highly complex and long term case, Rosie has shown dedication and perseverance to this case, despite facing challenges. Rosie also took on another mentoring case alongside this, and again has shown amazing commitment to providing the best support possible to her mentee. Rosie is focused on how she can best support her mentee’s, and is always thinking of the different support needs which they may have. Rosie, you are a true star!

 

 

 

LGBTQ+ History Month

Each of us has a biological sex — whether we are female, male, or intersex. Our gender is our social and legal status as men or women. And sexual orientation is the term used to describe whether a person feels sexual desire for another person of the other gender, same gender, or both genders.

Each of us also has a gender and gender identity. Our gender identity is our feelings about our gender. We express our gender identity in the way that we act masculine, feminine, neither, or both. Some people are transgender, which means that our biological sex and our gender identity do not match up.

Each of us also has a sexual orientation. You may be bisexual, gay, lesbian or straight. Or you may be “questioning” your sexuality as you are unsure about your sexual orientation.

Although it is believed that the world is moving closer to accepting the LGBT+ community, there are still many obstacles that young people face in society. Learning to be yourself and dealing with other people’s perception of you can be hard for anyone – this process can be especially stressful or tough for young people. Everyone has the right to safe and accepting environments, including homes, schools, and health care settings, and the right to live with dignity and without fear from stigma, discrimination and violence.

The discrimination LGBT+ young people face or the pressure they feel from their family or community can put them at greater risk for emotional health struggles. Through our drop-in service at The HUB, we recognised that there was a need to support young people around their sexuality and gender identity.

e now offer a support service for anyone that has any questions around this issue. If you or someone you know is struggling with issues related to sexuality or pressures of not being accepted by family, friends or community, it’s important to speak up. If you would like any further information or would like to signpost a young person to access some support please contact The HUB on 724 421 or email us on thehub.gg.

Guidelines – Young Carers

Young carers are children who help look after a member of the family who is sick, disabled, has mental health problems, or is misusing drugs or alcohol. A Young Carer is a person under the age of 18 who has enhanced caring responsibilities, such as taking the lead role in cooking, cleaning, getting their siblings ready for school, missing school to care for someone, not having time to themselves and similar acts like that. The average age of a young carer is 12 years old, with some children being as young as four years old caring for a loved one.

There are approximately 244,000 young carers across Britain, with 13,000 caring for more than 50 hours per week. A recent study published this month on the gov.gg website has found that 57% of parents reported that their child was providing emotional support for them. It is important to remember that caring doesn’t just mean physical caring, but medically, emotionally and financially too. For example: administering medication, conducting the weekly shop, being in constant worry about a loved one, supporting other people in the household in any way they can and more.

A lot of young carers don’t realise that they fall into this category because caring becomes part of daily routine that often doesn’t get questioned. It can sometimes be difficult for young carers to accept that they are in fact carers for many reasons; perhaps the sensitive nature of their loved one’s needs prevents them from reaching out for support, or they may feel like if they admit that they are young carers then they will be separated from their loved ones, many different reasons.

The impact on young people who are carers can be detrimental in many ways: being neglectful of their own needs by prioritising others, deterioration in their own emotional and mental health, missing out on their childhood and social exclusion. It is vital that us as a community recognise when a young carer needs support and know where to turn for this. At The HUB we are developing inclusion groups that include young carers. We are hoping to provide young carers with a safe place to be included to relieve them of their caring responsibilities by having fun, making friends, emotionally supporting, helping with shopping trips, allowing time to themselves by movie nights and so on.

If you would like any further information or would like to signpost a young person to access some support please contact The HUB on 724 421 or email us on thehub.gg

If you’re worried about recent news..

imagesYou will see in the news about the horrific abuse of Mark Frost – if you are a young person and worried, then please feel free to contact us for confidential support.

If you are worried about the immediate safety of a child or young person then please contact the police.

Guidelines – Children affected by Parental Imprisonment

Every year in England and Wales, around 200,000 children experience having a parent in prison. The majority of these children will have a father in prison, because the number of men in prison is far higher than the number of women. In addition to having a parent in prison, many children will experience a sibling or other family member being incarcerated.

Les Nicolles Prison in Guernsey has a capacity of 130 and has 11 wings in total and caters for a wide range of ages; from juveniles aged 14 upwards. There is a focus on lowering rates of reoffending and resettling prisoners after they have served their sentence.

Based on Barnardo’s research we now have a relatively comprehensive picture of some of the potential impacts of a family imprisonment on the lives of children.

We know that there is considerable variety in the way that children react to a family imprisonment and the impact that it has on their lives. For example, there is some evidence that boys tend to show externalizing problem behaviour, while girls tend to have more internalized reactions.

Depending on the strength of the relationship between the child and the parent in prison, they may experience a sense of sadness and loss; as well as concern about what is happening to their parent when they are taken away from them.

In the case of parental imprisonment, the parent left at home may be highly pressurized and left to deal with their own sense of loss and feelings of anger. This may have an effect on their ability to provide adequate parenting. Family finances may also change significantly, which may or may not have an impact of the children in the family. In some situations the imprisonment of a parent may lead to a change of primary caregiver. All these changes can cause children and young people a lot of anxiety.

Impacts on the child at school may include the child’s concentration and schoolwork deteriorating as well as their behaviour. The child may experience bullying or release their feelings of anger, sadness and loss in an unhealthy way.

You can help support young people who have a parent in prison by recognising them as a vulnerable group who need additional support. It is vital to ensure they feel included in the community and aren’t segregated by stereotypical views and opinions.

If you would like any further information or would like to signpost a young person to access some support please contact The HUB on 724 421 or email us on thehub.gg.

Guidelines – Black and Minority Ethnic groups

BME refers to the Black and Minority Ethnic community. Guernsey is continuously culturally expanding with people from all walks of live moving to the island, and we are keen to support young people from different cultures who may be struggling to adjust to life in Guernsey. The most common culturally diverse young people in Guernsey come from Latvia, France, Spain, Portugal, Russia and Thailand. It can be difficult to reach out for support if you have just moved to the island, especially if you do not know where the support is.

 

There can be many reasons why a young person who is culturally diverse may be struggling to settle in: barriers (language, geographical, personal, social etc), feeling overwhelmed, if the move to Guernsey was unexpected, if they do not feel included and so on. Each individual is different. At The HUB we can help culturally diverse young people explore Guernsey by sight-seeing, taking different buses to familiarise with the island, meet up with other young people in a similar situation, and importantly offer a safe place at The HUB where their cultural heritage will be respected. We have previously held Latvian celebration night in order to celebrate Latvian Proclamation Day where young people came to celebrate their Latvian culture and feel a sense of unity at The HUB. We are keen to celebrate more significant cultures dates at The HUB, so if you would like any further information or would like to signpost a young person to access some support please contact The HUB on 724 421 or email us on thehub.gg.

Volunteer of the month – January 2017

starWe have decided to share a volunteers story and to thank them for going the extra mile, by nominating a ‘Volunteer of the month’ each month. This month it is our volunteer, Becky– read below to find out how amazing she has been.

Becky has taken on many different mentoring cases since she first started volunteering for The HUB, and the young people she supports are all completely different. Becky supported a mentee who wanted to stay active over the summer, through their work together it became evident that this young person experienced severe anxiety and was rarely leaving their house. Through her support they are now able to attend fitness sessions on their own, go to the gym and have just started at a new job! Becky is brilliant at engaging young people through lots of different activities and is always prepared to try something new herself, she is also brilliant at simply listening to young people and talking them through any worries they have. Becky has most recently started volunteering for The Sunflower Project, where I feel she will be an amazing support to the children and young people she meets. Thank you Becky, you are a true star!

Inclusion Event THIS Sunday!

The HUB are holding an Inclusion Event this Sunday, 15th January from 12pm – 3pm for young people, families, professionals…ANYONE!… to come by and learn more about our current and upcoming inclusion work.

We will have rooms allocated for our different groups: LGBTQ+, BME and Young Carers. Inclusion is so important in terms of young people’s holistic health, identity, acceptance, confidence, self-esteem, social connections, pride and so much more. In our inclusion event, and subsequently our inclusion groups, we will be promoting aspects such as positive integration, peer support, raising awareness and more. Please come along if you feel like you, or someone you know could benefit from some support, or even if you are curious.

Look forward to seeing you there!

 

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