23 May 2012

Help CHW Host a Service Project in Time for the Olympics!

Children's Helpers Worldwide (CHW) has been invited to take part in a campaign with an Olympic theme, and you can be involved! The theme of the service project is youth, health and sports. 

We need ideas, volunteers, partners and participants, so there are really are lots of ways you could get involved! The event would be in London, as this is where we are based, but if you have ideas, or have done a similar project that we could now organise as well, it would be great to hear from you, wherever in the world you might be!

Details of the Campaign

The Campaign is being run by Global Service Leaders (GSL). They have just launched a new campaign, called "Relay Volunteerism."  The idea is that organisations in different countries will form "teams" and host a service project (a volunteering event). Each week leading up to the Olympics, a different country will host their event (like the Olympic torch is relayed across countries). GSL would like the grande finale to be in London, as this is where the Olympics will be, and hopes we could host our service project in the week starting July 20. I have pasted GSL's full details of the Campaign at the bottom of this post.

The Campaign focusses on youth, sports and health, so any service project should involve youth and focus either on sports or health (or both, if possible!). I asked what sort of projects GSL had in mind and this was their reply:

"For the Campaign we want organizations to host a service project involving youth and highlighting sports and health. Some ideas are park and playground clean-ups, sports day, etc. This campaign can help fundraise for the organization involved, as long as the association with the Relay Volunteerism Campaign is there."

As it can be a fundraising event, I would love it if it could raise money for CHW! One of our current projects is related to health - we are trying to raise funds to start a children's music therapy project for a rehabilitation centre in Argentina. We are also trying to fundraise for a playground project in Ghana, and support for this would be great too.

Making it Happen!

I realise that July is not too far away! If you would like to be involved and can help, we would need the following to make it possible:

1. Ideas!
If you have an idea for an event that relates to this theme, please let me know. 
It would hopefully be a relatively simple idea... and one where we could easily sort out a venue.

2. Volunteers
If you are happy to help out with this event, whatever idea we eventually come up with, please let me know. It will be great to have help on the day, as well as with the planning leading up to it. 
Please also forward this on to anyone else who you think would want to volunteer.

3. Partners
If you are a member of an organisation, if or your work or community may want to get involved with hosting the service project, please let me know, or get any interested people to contact me. GSL will be featuring all organisations involved on their website, so it is a good chance to get some publicity. We would all work together on hosting the service project.

4. Participants
Depending on the type of event, either children/youth will be volunteers on the day (like with the park clean up idea), or the event will be for them (like with the sports day idea). Schools will be closed for the summer holidays by 20 July, which is a shame, as it might have been easier to link with a school and run a project with them. If anyone has links with summer schools/youth projects and think the young people there may like to be involved, let me know.
(NB - I am just using the examples for events that GSL gave - I am looking for other ideas for events!)

I know we are starting from scratch here, but I really think we have the potential to host a service project, and it will be great to involve young people here in London! 

Get in Touch!

If you want to be involved with the service project and can help with any of the above, you can contact me either by email: catherine "at" chworldwide.org, or you can leave a comment under this post.


GLS's Information on the Campaign

Below are the full details GSL has posted. 

In light of the upcoming Olympic Games, Global Service Leaders (GSL) is proud to announce a campaign highlighting the values of teh Olympic Spirit. GSL brings together members from across the globe to facilitate the sharing of ideas adn resources; with our new campaign "Relay Volunteerism" we aim to blend the visible and invisible aspects of the Games emulating one of the most unique aspects of the Olympics: The Torch Relay. With "Relay Volunteerism" we are looking forward to a new approach that draws in our collective resources as Global Service Leaders.

We have taken inspiration from the Olympic mottos of "Inspire a generation" and "Faster, Higher, Stronger" and encourage emphasizing Sports, Health, and Youth aspects of volunteering in this summer campaign.

Campaign Features:
  • Each country that signs up will become a "national team" (e.g. Team GB, Team Cameroon, etc.)
    • Each team has to have different organizations working together to create a national campaign (highlighting Sports, Health, or Youth).
    • We are looking to get organizations that may not usually interact with each other to come together as a team and host a national campaign.
    • We encourage organizations to bring in partners to set up the campaign and to join GSL as new members.
  • Each team will have one week "bearing the torch". During that one week:
    • The country will be highlighted on GSL.
    • The organizations involved will be spotlighted on GSL.
    • Members from organizations will be featured and interviewed.
    • Members and organizations involved will be asked to submit photos, blog posts and testimonials to feature.
  • We have a tentative start date of June 8th or 15th depending on how many countries sign up.

22 May 2012

Health and Wellbeing Organisations for Children and Youth in London

Yesterday, the Young Londoner's Participation Network held one of their quarterly meetings. It was on Health and Wellbeing. I was only able to stay for the first part, and wished I could have stayed until the end, but I did get to hear some presentations from a few organisations doing great work for children and youth in London.

Although the projects of my own organisation, CHW, are abroad, we are hoping to partner with other organisations in London to host a service project with a focus on youth, health and sports in the summer (I will post more about this soon!). Also, some of my research has been based on child health and welfare in the UK, so it was amazing to hear from these London-based organisations and learn more about how they work directly with children and young people.

Here is a brief overview of these organisations. They are: Rethink Mental Illness, Living Well, Body & Soul and Young Minds. There was also a presentation by the Greater London Authority Health Team. I have listed links, where you can get more information about each, at the bottom of the post.

Rethink Mental Illness

Rethink Mental Illness does a variety of things, including offering advice and information, running services and groups, providing support online and running campaigns, all with the aim of supporting people affected by mental illness. It has a section of its site just for young people, which you can see here.

Leigh, who gave the presentation, especially told us about their programme, Uthink London, which is a learning programme aimed at young people aged fourteen to eighteen. More about Uthink London can be found on this page of the website.

I saw on their page that Uthink London is running a consultation on their Young Siblings Programme. They would like to hear from people aged fourteen to twenty-five who have a sibling with severe mental illness, and who would like to shape the content of their programme. The contact details are at the bottom of the Uthink London page.

Leigh also talked about the campaign, Time to Change, which is led by Rethink and another charity, called Mind. The aim of the Campaign is to end the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems. A programme is being developed that will be especially for children and young people. A pilot scheme is currently underway.

Living Well

Living Well provides a range of holistic services designed to enable people to better manage their health and wellbeing. The presentation yesterday was about their Youth Services.

There is a great range of programmes for people aged thirteen to twenty-five, including:
RITEstart - an interactive health and wellbeing programme;
txtm8 - a free sex and relationships texting service for young people to ask questions confidentially; CluedUP - a peer-led life skills programme for young people;
InForm - a project looking at the barriers and challenges that prevent young men from engaging with sexual health and wellbeing services. The report can be downloaded from the InForm page.
Youth Work Apprenticeships - These are for people aged sixteen to twenty-five who want to gain experience in Youth Work, Sexual Health and Customer Services.

All of their programmes sounded really effective and I also thought it was great that they are offering Youth Work Apprenticeships too.

Body & Soul

Body & Soul promotes the respect, dignity and wellbeing of children, young people and families living with, or affected by HIV. The presentation, by Emily, mostly focussed on Teen Spirit, their programme for people aged thirteen to nineteen, who are either HIV positive or are close to someone who is.  There are Teen Spirit Evenings every Thursday, with workshops, projects and courses. There are other services available too.

Emily also went on to speak about the Campaign, Life in My Shoes. Research commissioned by Body & Soul showed that there was a strong contradiction between what young people knew about HIV and how they said they would behave. For example, 81% knew HIV could not be transmitted by sharing a cup, but only 27% said they would drink from the same cup as someone who was HIV positive. Emily said that facts alone will not be a driving force for change in behaviour and the Campaign aims to address the stigma surrounding HIV, so that others can be more empathetic towards those living with HIV.

Young Minds

Young Minds is committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. They campaign, research and influence policy and practice, as well as providing expert knowledge to professionals, parents and young people, through their Parents' Helpline, online resources, training and development, outreach work and publications.

They will soon be launching the State of Mind Campaign. So far, the State of Mind: Young Londoners' Manifesto for Mental Health has been produced by a group of young people from all over London.

Greater London Authority Health Team

Charlotte Hall spoke about the London Health Improvement Board. This focusses on a few priority areas, and one of importance to children is childhood obesity. There is the Healthy Schools Programme and the Board is also aiming to develop an overall strategy to tackle this issue. The other part of the presentation was about the Mayor's Health Inequality Strategy, which, of course, has an impact on children and young people in London.


Young Londoners' Participation Network
See more information on the London Youth website:
Find London Youth on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LondonYouth
Follow London Youth on Twitter: @LondonYouth

Rethink Mental Illness:
Visit their website: http://www.rethink.org
Visit their page for young people: http://www.rethink.org/young_people/index.html
Find them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RethinkCharity
Follow them on Twitter: @Rethink_

Time to Change Campaign:
Visit the website: http://time-to-change.org.uk/
Visit the page about the children and young person's programme:
Find them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/timetochange
Follow them on Twitter: @TimetoChange

Living Well:
Visit their website http://www.livingwellcic.com
Visit their Youth Services Page: http://www.livingwellcic.com/what-we-do/youth-services/
Find them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/livingwellcic
Follow their Youth Services twitter account: @livingwell4yp

Body & Soul:
Visit their home page: http://bodyandsoulcharity.org
Visit their Teen Spirit page: http://bodyandsoulcharity.org/teens/teen-spirit/#s1
Visit their children's section: http://bodyandsoulcharity.org/children/#s1
Find them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BodySoulCharity
Follow them on Twitter: @bodysoulcharity

Life in My Shoes Campaign:
Visit the website: http://lifeinmyshoes.org
Find them on Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/lifeinmyshoescampaign
Follow them on Twitter: @Life_inmyshoes

Young Minds
Visit their website: http://www.youngminds.org.uk
Find them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/youngmindsuk
Follow them on Twitter: @YoungMindsUK

Greater London Authority Health Team
Visit the Health section of the Greater London Authority website: http://www.london.gov.uk/priorities/health
Download the Mayor's Health Inequalities Strategy:
Download the One Year On Report on the Health Inequalities Strategy:
Visit the London Health Improvement Board website: http://www.lhib.org.uk

18 May 2012

London+20 June 5: Call for Applications

I have just found out about a great opportunity for those of you in the UK, aged fifteen to twenty-five, and who are interested in Rio+20 and issues of sustainability. The London+20 Conference will be held on 5 June! Applications to attend must be completed by 30 May. I have pasted the information I received about this exciting event below!

Here is the poster for the London+20:
This is the message I received about London+20, including details on how to apply:

"On the occasion of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (known as Rio+20) taking place from June 20-22 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil a coalition of youth organizations in the United Kingdom organize London+20 in the city of London at the British Youth Council, on 5th June 2012 from 10am to 5pm UK time, the same day with the World Environment Day. Organized under the slogan ''The UK Youth committed to The Future We Want ! '', the event will be a one day program including plenary discussion, working sessions, exhibition and simulation of the Rio+20 Conference. London+20 is part of a global movement called ''MyCity+20'' started by students of universities in France, who had the amazing idea to encourage global youth to host simulations of Rio+20 in their cities worldwide in order to learn how this process of international negotiations works. 
London+20 is open to all young people aged between 15 and 25 based in any part of the United Kingdom and from any country around the world (However, we don't cover travel costs for international participants). Applicants must be passionate, active or interested by sustainable development and environmental issues. They need to be affiliated with a school, university, youth-led organization, youth network, enterprise, company, etc. 80 participants will be selected to attend London+20 and they will not only learn what sustainable development is, but will have an opportunity to understand how children and youth contribute to the discussions and outcome of Rio+20 and experience a simulation of the conference towards a focused political document including the two conference themes and highlighting its other seven priority areas. 
If you are interested to participate and meet the criteria above, please fill in the application form at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dEtJTWtRbkJvcGxrenQ5WnYyNk53M1E6MQ by Wednesday 30th May at 23:59pm UK Time. Make sure to provide all requested information in all questions. Once you have applied, we encourage you to check your inbox on 1st of June to know if you have been selected and start preparing your participation. Please also help us to promote this call for applications. 

If you have any question or concern, please contact us at rioplus20@london.com You are also encouraged to join us on Facebook (search: London+20)  and Twitter (@LONDONplus20) and to send this call around your contacts. 

Thank you for applying and join us to build together The Future We Want!"