The past two years have been a challenging time for young people. We have seen them go above and beyond for those in their community and we have been amazed by their strength and determination in such trying times. Read about a few amazing stories over the past 12 months...
Campaigning against bullying!
Key Group: SEA Squad
SEA Squad came together to begin dreaming up what they could do with their first Key Project. Building upon their own experiences, SEA Squad, decided they wanted to help stamp out bullying in school. The incredible group of young men and women decided to hold a poster competition across Gateshead primary schools inviting children and young people to spread awareness of bullying in schools through their own designs.
The group received countless entries too and in the end decided to crown three amazing winners. They have had each design professionally printed and are sharing them with the schools who participated to further their cause and spread bullying prevention awareness.
Hampers for the elderly!
Key Group: The Girls in Top Hats!
Whilst this was a simple project idea, the impact of giving gifts to the local care homes was significant, making sure that all the local elderly residents had gifts for Christmas.
The head teacher received an email from the relative of one of the care home residents expressing thanks and explaining why the gifts were so important this Christmas: "I would just like to express my sincerest thanks and gratitude to the pupils at your school. Both my mam and dad are residents in Bedewell Grange and due to recent measures we’ve recently been informed that we are now unable to visit as a whole family this Christmas. Seeing the kindness shown by your school community has really made my day and I’m sure my mam and dad will love opening their gifts."
The girls also received a lovely thank you card from Whitehouse Nursing Home thanking them for the gifts and saying "It just goes to show there is still some beautiful people in this world...it makes our world a much nicer place"
Podcast about the things you're passionate about!
Key Group: STAND4
STAND4 were ready to to make an even bigger impact at Stage 3. With this in mind, the group decided to set up their own community podcast tackling social issues that impact young people. Discussing important topics such as race inequalities, food poverty and educational inequalities, STAND4 secured a host of well-known guests including Newcastle MP, Chi Onwurah. The podcast pushed the group out of their comfort zone and empowered them to be ambitious with their idea, using their voices to discuss issues that mattered most to them.
Bringing the music as a local fundraiser!
Key Group: The Seven
This group worked exceptionally hard, making incredible use of their stage one. They held a silent disco for Valentines day at school which raised over £500 for CHUF. They realised that they needed more funding to make it an even more amazing event and held fundraisers to make up the shortfall. Their confidence has soared, particularly in terms of communication and having had the opportunity to organise a large scale event in school.
Creating awareness of VAWG!
Key Group: Fearless Female Squad
Fearless Female Squad went above and beyond the requirements of our programme to build upon the things they are most passionate about and created posters to create awareness of the growing issue of violence against women and girls (VAWG). The local community and schools had told them how inspiring their projects and posters were.
Bringing the Christmas community spirit!
Key Group: Sam Hill and Sam Peaden
This group wanted to organise a Christmas fayre for the locally community following COVID & the relaxation on social events. They recognised that some families will have been in periods of loneliness and isolation and wanted to spread some Christmas cheer. They worked hard to think what families, local resident would want & not just project members. They wanted a safe space to have fun so needed to limit the numbers. They showed strong health and safety knowledge and worked with centre manager to set up all the activities up inline with latest restrictions. They organised an amazing event with visit from Mrs Claus , bingo, games, photo booth and the event had a great atmosphere with fabulous feedback for the young men from community members.
Key Group: NP2
The group wanted to lift the spirits of the community and bring a smile to the faces of those struggling and so came up with the brilliant idea of working with a local artist to create a communal art piece. With help from other local children, young people and community members, the group went ahead and transformed a community centre's outdoor wall into a graffiti masterpiece – inspiring the community, giving thanks to key workers and providing hope with their art.
Feeding the community!
Key Group: M2 Caring Crew
A completely selfless stage 1 project, the group wanted to do as much as they possibly could to help the community. They already face many barriers of their own due to their special needs and thought of how they could help other people that face barriers. The group helped the local community by making donations to the local foodbank and had hoped to volunteer in their own time (unfortunately they were not old enough but they plan on going back when they are). On the same day as making the donation they stopped off at a care home to sing Christmas carols. The group have been brave and faced many of their own barriers to complete the project. For a stage 2 project the group want to expand on improving the world by helping more good causes. They have grown so much in confidence and maturity and I feel they really deserve recognition for their caring and selfless ideas.
Campaigning in time for COP26!
Key Group: Plank!
Key Group, Plank!, challenged themselves to think bigger as they progressed onto Stage 2 of The Key with a Climate Change passion project.
Plank! came up with the ingenious idea to produce their own music video to be launched in line with COP26. It took a lot of planning and skills but with the solid foundation the group developed in Stage 1, they were more than up to the task. Together they honed their to ability to plan their time and energy and agree tasks and responsibilities. The end result was incredibly powerful!
Action against mental health!
Key Group: No-One Knows
No-One Knows are a group of young men who came together and began KEY+ outside of the classroom to promote their mental health and wellbeing. At Stage 3, the young men created their very own tent library in school so other pupils who were experiencing the same issues and in similar situations as them could hit the outdoors in their own time too. The innovation and creativity of this group will leave a lasting legacy as they leave school this summer.