We need air raid sirens sounding for a whole generation.
We are failing the youths of this nation.
So that inspired this investigation.
– Corner Shop by Shireesha (Alana Sun)
People, Places, Poetry
Kaylah Jackson and Aleksa Asme explored where young people in south London go when they’re not at home or at school, and how the spaces they occupy impact on their mental health. They found:
- 83% of young people believe there aren’t enough spaces they can access easily and safely, instead spending their time on the streets, at bus stops and in shopping centres.
- When asked what they needed in a space to support and improve their mental health, 92% of young people said positive relationships, support and care.
“In Lewisham there was over one hundred people outside McDonalds after school”
“Having space enables me to think more. Have peace. My thoughts are more coherent.”
“Lots of things have closed since lockdown”
A Big Conversation
Rofeda, Phoebe and Marlo interrogated the impact that creativity has in improving the mental health of young Londoners. They found:
- 100% of young people surveyed agreed that being creative supports their mental health.
- 90% felt that if there were more opportunities for them to be creative, that mental health in young people would improve.
“Writing and performing spoken word has become my trauma response. It enables me to take control over situations when I feel powerless, and I realised you have to talk about something to heal from it.”
Rofeda Bougaga, Peer Researcher
As part of A Big Conversation, Phoebe and Marlo launched “i’m not ok, but…” a fun, honest podcast exploring the links between creativity and mental health. You can listen to it here:
In this video, Rofeda is interviewed by the Greater London Authority about the project, and she performs a poem about being a survivor:
We believe that the arts and creativity are essential components of young people leading healthy lives.
We believe that young people need to have a central voice in the decisions made about the services designed for them.
We believe arts and cultural organisations should open their doors to young people on a consistent basis, offering them a safe space to express themselves creatively. In response, we have started a weekly youth takeover, Come As You Are – you can read more about it here.