Peer mentors have a strong influence on young people. Why is this? Because Young people are likely to be more interested if a young person like them is giving them advice and information because they can relate to them and their experiences. One to one advice can also break down barriers meaning young people can feel more comfortable.
Last year we funded Fitzrovia Youth in Action to run a One Year project to help spread awareness about substance misuse to young people in Camden. Young people involved in the project took part in drug and alcohol awareness training, after the training, specialist film and music tutors taught them how to turn their ideas into soundtracks and short films each creating awareness of drug and alcohol misuse.
Fitzrovia Youth in Action worked in partnership with community including youth clubs, community centres, schools and colleges across the borough of Camden spreading to as many young people as it can. The young people who took part were then equipped to educate other young people about the effects of drug and alcohol misuse through the peer mentoring element of the project. Isn’t this great?
Last Thursday we were invited to the Camden Film Showcase which included 5 soundtracks/films produced throughout the project;
“Find Your Way” by Fitzrovia Youth in Action
“Promises” by Westminster Kingsway College
“Down” by Castlehaven
“Fell through the Trap” by Granville
“Harsh Reality” by Dragon Hall
We were so impressed with what we saw. Each one had a different message and style, and they were all very powerful and emotive. It was very satisfying to see the result of the year long project and to share that with so many of the amazing young people who took part. A big well done to everyone involved!
As well as giving young people a voice on one of the most pressing issues they face, the project gave them the opportunity to gain skills in film production, script writing, composing storyboards, acting, workshop design and delivery, and team work. Participants completed AQAs in Drug Awareness and Film Making, and had the opportunity to take part in employability workshops and work experience placements. (http://www.fya.org.uk/peer-education/)
Janis Winehouse gave me her thoughts about this project:
“We are pleased to have supported the Drug & Alcohol Peer Education Project in partnership Fitzrovia Youth in Action. This project is unique as it sits in line with every aspect of our Mission; to inform and educate young people about the affects of drug and alcohol misuse, to support and develop music provision and to inspire those young people most vulnerable and disadvantaged to reach their full potential. We are always looking for new and innovative ways to achieve this mission, and this project is certainly no exception. We very much look forward to seeing its results and hope the young people involved go on to use their talent and skills to achieve many more great things, they should be very proud of themselves.”
Young people do have a voice and can make a difference and this project is a fine example of just that!
Stay tuned and we hope to share some of the films with you soon x