'Mind your health'

'Mind your Health' was a free drop-in event for young people at the Bob Jones Community Hub, on Wednesday 21 March and the HeadStart Wolverhampton team were on hand to offer support and advice on local services available for young people, parents and families.

The drop-in session also offers the chance to participate in fun workshops including creative arts, dance, and fitness from a range of local organisations, and to find out about the facilities available at the Bob Jones Community Hub, including the gym, dance studio, martial arts, yoga and more.

Our HeadStart Newshounds captured it all. Here is their video!

Volunteering Initiatives by Baylee - Heath Town, Park Village, Eastfield, Springfield and Old Heath Newshounds

What are volunteering initiatives?

Volunteering Initiatives are different things you can do to volunteer. There are a ton of things you can do to volunteer and help others, some of which I’ll be talking about in this article.

Why do people get involved?


People volunteer for various reasons. One of those reasons being the fact that it’s time consuming. Especially in the holidays, young people have a lot of spare time. What better way to spend it than doing something that you enjoy doing, and benefit other people at the same time?! How do young people benefit from volunteering? Volunteering has many benefits. For young people, it’s great work experience. Most people volunteer for something that they enjoy doing. That way it doesn’t matter that they don’t get paid, because they’re enjoying themselves and it’s not about the money. Volunteering also widens your horizons and gives you a taste of what it would be like to be in that profession fell time. I used to volunteer at the stables, because I really loved horses. However, I didn’t just go there and say “Hi can I volunteer to look after your horses?” I had to be going there for some time first, so they knew me and knew that I knew what I was doing. I benefited from it because I was doing what I loved, and if later on, I went somewhere to apply for a job as a stable hand, I’d have all these years of experience.

How can I volunteer?

You can volunteer by going to the actual place that you’d like to volunteer at and offer your services. Some places also have signs and posters asking for volunteers. Unfortunately, you can’t really apply online for volunteering, you’ll more than likely have to turn up in person. Where can I go to volunteer, and what can I volunteer to do? Where you volunteer really depends on what your interests are, and where you would like to volunteer. When it comes to volunteering, it’s really important that you’re doing something that you enjoy, and something you want to do, because that’s the only thing driving you to do your best. If you were getting paid, you could say “I’d better do a good job or else I won’t get paid.” With Volunteering, you have to want to do a good job. Some teens volunteer to sit with the elderly. Older people enjoy the company, and it’s nice for young people to spend time with their elders.

You can also volunteer to help with children. Places like nurseries would be more than happy for the help. You could also volunteer to be a dog walker. If you really like dogs, this would be a really enjoyable responsibility for you. Christmas is also a great time to volunteer, a time to think about others who may be less fortunate than you are. Darlington street church on Darlington Street Wolverhampton opens every Christmas day to feed the homeless. I know my parents and many others who have volunteered to go there on Christmas day, and help hand out food and spend time with people who may not have anywhere to go on Christmas.

Why is it sometimes hard for me to volunteer?

Some jobs or professions, are so sought after, that there just aren’t any openings, even for volunteers. Some people are money-driven, and that can make it really hard for them to volunteer. You could also end up working as a volunteer, next to someone who’s getting paid, and thinking “why should I do for free something that they’re getting paid for?” The young people also have to be responsible and trust worthy, which is why some people are wary when hiring volunteers. It’s been known that some people have volunteered to sit with elderly, took advantage of their vulnerability and stolen from them. It can also be hard for a young person to find somewhere to volunteer at.

How can the Aladdin's Community Centre help?

The community centre could help the young people find volunteering jobs, and make sure that they’re safe. They could also set up a weekly club, where young people could get together and volunteer to do things that will help the community. You could also get in touch with council, who are bound to have a list of things that young people could volunteer to do.

Volunteering is a great, fun thing to do. As long as it’s kept safe, it can prove beneficial to a lot of people. It’s a great thing to do to get young people out of the house, and to give them a feel of what it’s like working in the real world.


'Is Social Media Making Us Antisocial?' by Maria - Heath Town, Park Village, Eastfield, Springfield and Old Heath Newshounds

The views expressed by our Newshounds are their own, and reflect their feelings and thoughts

What is social media? Quite a simple question, but not so much with the answer, what really is social media? Social media has now become the world, social media is celebrities. Trends, fashion, news, education. Social media doesn’t evolve around us anymore, it has now become as if we are evolving around it, as if we depend on media to satisfy our mental wellbeing just as much as we depend on food and water for our physical wellbeing.

In my opinion, there is no social in social media, while you are staring at a screen texting, typing or FaceTiming. The meaning of ‘social’ has changed a lot throughout the years; before it meant going outside, meeting new friends, interacting with people but now it’s how many ‘friends’ or ‘followers’ you have, how many people have liked, commented or retweeted your post.

But are you really helping yourself or are you putting yourself into greater depression? Does your self esteem and happiness in life depend on comments and likes, until your mood depends on every time the little blue bird on Twitter flies or every time someone on Instagram tags you in a popular post. If so, who knew that a little blue bird could drag you down so low until you had no self esteem? Who knew that Instagram could make you feel so insecure. Who knew? But that is the case in some people’s lives, not only teenagers but adults too.

Now don’t get me wrong, social media is amazing. It connects the world and empowers us all to make better decisions about our lives. At the same time it can be very addictive and make us very antisocial. Nowadays teenagers spend most of their time online. A recent study shows that an average teenager is on social media for about 35 hours per week, that’s 5 hours per day spent on social media.

Teenagers are now spending so much valuable time, interacting with each other on social networks and phones that they are growing less comfortable with face to face interactions and not developing their basic social and communication skills. From personal experience, I have witnessed teenagers who have a huge follow base on social media and are very active online yet they’re too anxious to even approach someone.

Teenagers need to be told the consequences of spending too much time online and schools and community centres should start teaching communication skills to those who are antisocial. Community centres are helping by offering more youth groups only for teenagers where they can meet new people and learn or participate in fun activities instead of staying at home scrolling through their phones. This will mean that not only will teenagers spend less time on their devices but also spend more time meeting other teenagers and being active for a change.

By Maria


Hope Report by Bobby - Heath Town, Park Village, Eastfield, Springfield and Old Heath Newshounds

The views expressed by our Newshounds are their own, and reflect their feelings and thoughts about the areas where they live.

Anxiously walking through Heath Town, many fear its reputation for crime, as it is one of the most dangerous areas of Wolverhampton. However, amidst the hate and violence lies ‘Hope’ a non-government funded charity which gives the troubling youth of Heath Town and other areas of Wolverhampton hope and optimism for the first time. Unsurprisingly, the children of Heath Town and Wolverhampton are incredibly vulnerable, from young ages these children are exposed to hate, violence, crime, drugs etc. How can any child be exposed to this great level of violence? However, it is happening; on the streets of Wolverhampton, there is an unprecedented number of children who are isolated and helpless, ‘Hope’ reaches out to these children. ‘Hope’, as the name suggests, gives these children hope, optimism and dreams for the first time in their lives, just as every child should have.

‘Hope’ began in 1985, when two Catholic sisters set it up to help the people of Heath Town, the services of ‘Hope’ have changed since 1985, to reflect and respond to the needs of the local community, for example, they offer services such as English lessons to compensate for the large number of immigrants living in Heath Town. This is incredibly important as there are many people living in Heath Town who cannot speak or understand English, therefore their lives are heavily affected by this. Despite this, what hasn’t changed is their commitment to helping people who are experiencing difficulties or people who are disadvantaged or excluded by society. It is this factor that makes ‘Hope’ such an amazing and life changing charity.

There are several services which ‘Hope’ provides, one of which is visiting elderly homes and arranging day trips for the elderly. This is incredibly important due to the high number of pensioners who suffer from loneliness and lonesomeness. The elderly are left abandoned in their old care homes, abandoned to just stare at the same walls every single day. ‘Hope’ brings purpose and excitement back to their lives and supports them, bringing them happiness, something they have missed for a large amount of time. In addition, ‘Hope’ offers support for women who suffer from domestic abuse and helps them escape the horrendous mistreatment and injustice that they have faced their whole lives. This is essential as domestic abuse is on the rise. Furthermore, ‘Hope’ runs a youth group and gives one-to-one advice to enable young people to make informed decisions. The youth club includes school clubs, social groups, outings and workshops. This enables them to provide social opportunities, fun, friendship and support to the youth. Children of Heath Town are indoctrinated into a world full of hate, crime and violence. Educating or raising awareness around areas such as gang activity, teenage abuse drug addiction and child exploitation has never been so vital. ‘Hope’ and other youth centres is the solution to such ssues in Wolverhampton, however, ‘Hope’ is the only youth centre in Heath Town and it does not have the capacity or the funding to help everyone.

We spoke to Dianne Garbett, one of the only workers in ‘Hope’. Dianne exclaimed “Gang activity and online safety is a huge concern in Wolverhampton, especially Heath Town, Hope is essential in ensuring that young people are not vulnerable and are fully educated in the dangers of gangs and social media”. Later, Dianne also stated that there was no government funding for ‘Hope’ and that there was a huge shortage of workers and Hope depends on amazing volunteer staff. ‘Hope’ holds summer activities, after school clubs and weekend activities for youths to take part in completely free of charge. We were give an amazing opportunity to visit ‘Hope’ and speak to their amazing staff members.