More media from the HeadStart Ambassadors

Dan's image

Dan's image

As part of the interview process to become a HeadStart Ambassadors, applicants aged 16 to 25 were asked to create a piece of media - a poster, presentation, piece of artwork, or poetry - that communicates their vision of what mental health means to them. We've previously presented some digital art from HeadStart Ambassador Dan:

Here is some of the other work from other HeadStart Ambassadors

A poster:

Some graphic design:

A mindmap:

Two applicants wrote poems, including this very powerful piece from Megan:

I am a bright young girl.
What an interesting way to describe a person. Bright.

I shine a light on everyone around me they say. But what they don’t realise, is that My mind is pitch black.

Alone in my mind I stumble around my memories looking for the one that switched the light off.

Somewhere between learning to paint a picture and learning to paint my own face, a fuse blew.

You can’t pin point where it happened but coming of age is becoming darkness.

Children are born shining
No childhood begins in the dark. But too many end there.

We find ourselves searching every corner of our minds, re tracing our steps to find where we went wrong.

But that’s where we are wrong. We have done nothing. We don’t switch off our own light. It isnt our choice.

Puberty, school life, social status and superiority. All slowly dim the lights until we’re left, submerged, hands outstretched, reaching for a lightswitch.

We need to be torches. We can shine a light on the dimming minds. We can be the ones who light them back up because we have the power to do so.

Your torch may be family. Friends. Music. Medication. As long as you can find your way there is no shame in your source of light.

I lost all of my light. But i found my torches.
And I am a bright young girl.

... and this poem from Hannah, that we shared previously.

What HeadStart means to me is to be free,
An opportunity to be me,

What HeadStart means to me is to have a friend,
One that’s there until the end,
That will help to mend, help to tend,
Any problems you may feel,
One who is real.

What HeadStart means to me is somewhere that understands,
Who will lend a hand,
Who will develop your skills,
Create new thrills,
Allowing you to become someone you never thought you could be

What HeadStart means to me is community
They are always there to help, no matter what the problems may be.

What HeadStart means to me is positivity,
It is the key to giving youth the help it needs,
So please allow me to help this community,
So I can be a better me.

It's fantastic to be working alongside such talented young people as they support younger peers and the professionals of HeadStart.

Some of our HeadStart Ambassadors, meeting with the Mayor and Mayoress of Wolverhampton at HeadStart HQ.

Parents and families 'Head in the Right Direction' at the new Moreton Community Hub

As we shared last week, HeadStart partner Moreton School has established a new Community Hub on their site which will act as a community base to support the needs of parents and families in the Bushbury, Low Hill and Scotlands area of the city.

On Saturday, Moreton hosted an event to launch the new hub, and HeadStart staff were there to meet the parents and families who came along, to share information about HeadStart, and to speak to them about mental health and well-being awareness. Visitors were asked to write or record a pledge for Mental Health Awareness Week 2017. Here are some of their pledges:

... and here are some of the messages and experience that visitors shared with us:

A range of other community groups were on hand too, sharing information and guidance from outstanding local services, and directing parents to the local support they need.

It was like looking at my own life in a mirror
— A parent speaking about 'Head in the Right Direction'

The event also included a performance of 'Head in the Right Direction', a thought-provoking, challenging play, commissioned by HeadStart, which explores the challenges of parenthood, and the support that HeadStart will be providing. The play was scripted, staged and performed by the fantastic teams at Central Youth Theatre and Gazebo. Here is a taster of the amazing performance:

If you'd like to see 'Head in the Right Direction', the final performance of the play will take place on Monday 22nd May at 11am, at the Bob Jones Centre, in Blakenhall. If you can, please come along and see it for yourself.

The event at Moreton was a great way to round off Mental Health Awareness Week for HeadStart; thank you to everyone who came along, and to Miss. Deacy, the Inclusion Manager at Moreton School, who organised the event.

Pledges and Messages for Mental Health Awareness Week 2017

The HeadStart team spent the day yesterday talking to the public about HeadStart in a popup shop in The Wulfrun Centre.

We asked visitors to write pledges of support for Mental Health Awareness, and, for those who were happy to do so, to record their message or pledge.

Here are the messages and pledges that we recorded:

Thanks to everyone who came along to see us. The team will also be at the Moreton Community Hub Event tomorrow - we'd love to see you there.

Come and meet the HeadStart team and watch 'Head In The Right Direction' at the new Moreton Community Hub tomorrow

HeadStart partner Moreton School has established a new Community Hub on their site which will act as a community base to support the needs of parents and families in the Bushbury, Low Hill and Scotlands area of the city. Local voluntary sector organisations can use the new space as a free base for regular activities, discussion groups, or therapy interventions. Wolverhampton College will use the hub to provide courses. The Strengthening Families Hub will offer parenting classes and Early Help Therapy, and Bushbury Hill Primary are providing a stay & play worker for a session per week. The hub will also host coffee mornings and even a slimming club! It will become a wonderful resource for the surrounding area.

On Saturday 13th May, between 10am and 1pm, Moreton are hosting an event to launch the new hub, and HeadStart Staff will be ready and waiting at our stand to speak to you, and to listen to your experiences of mental health, emotional well-being, or of supporting the young people in your life. We’ll also share information on future HeadStart opportunities for young people, parents and families. Please visit our stand, and maybe even record a quick audio message for Mental Health Awareness Week 2017!

The launch event will also include a performance of ‘Head in the Right Direction’, a theatre show, aimed at parents and carers, which shares the objectives of HeadStart through a mix of drama, dance, and role play. The performance will begin at 11am, so please come along! More details of the show can be found here:

We hope you can come along tomorrow, and don’t forget to drop by and say hello to the HeadStart team.

HeadStart in The Wulfrun Centre for Mental Health Awareness Week

Members of the HeadStart team are spending the day meeting the public in a pop-up shop in the Wulfrun Centre, Wolverhampton. People from all over the city have come along to meet us, having heard about us on FaceBook or Twitter, or through HeadStart programmes in schools or the community.  Our 'shop' (there's nothing to buy!) contains a wide range of activities, both fun and serious:

  • Our pledge wall, which is filling rapidly with mental health pledges from visitors
  • A photo booth for visitors to use to capture some fun snaps with friends or family
  • Our digital graffiti wall - come along and share messages of support!
  • The opportunity to sign up to the HeadStart newsletter - if you haven't already done so, please sign up here!

Most importantly, however, we've been humbled by the number of people who have come along and shared their own experiences of dealing with mental health issues, or of supporting friends and family. We've heard from parents who are desperately struggling to support a child with severe mental health issues, and a new mother battling post-natal depression. A lady who has struggled her whole life with anxiety, and who has just begun a therapeutic course through Healthy Minds to try and help, came to see us, as did parents who shared the challenges of bringing up teenagers in an environment where peer pressures and a lack of facilities can lead to anti-social behaviours.

We've also recorded some audio messages with visitors for Mental Health Awareness Week, such as this:

We've recorded some longer audio interviews too - listen out for those soon!

A huge thank you to everyone who has come along to visit us today. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter, FaceBook, Instagram and YouTube for all the latest from HeadStart.