Toby Birch (MYP) & Aaron McIntyre (WAY Chair) got together online in the midst of lockdown (July 2020) to discuss a range of vital topics with HAVE YOU

You can hear conversation highlights here – the first upload to our Youth Voice Soundcloud!

As well as a Curriculum for Life update, Toby & Aaron shared their views on the environmental agenda for young people in Suffolk. We asked, ‘has the environment become less important with everything else that’s been going on this year?’ Toby let us know, that for young people, this is definitely not the case;

 “I think young people are always passionate about the environment. I think it’s decision makers who have forgotten about it!”

We talked about mental health and how young people can be pro-active in ‘self care’ and looking after their own mental health. Aaron talked about the relentless stress and pressure young people are under these days.

“Sometimes we need to just step back and say ‘no’, I’m going to look after myself – I’m going to go out and have fun!”

Toby let us know that he thinks services are out there to support young people through difficult times but that often young people don’t know about them! Toby & Aaron agreed that it is important to get the right services and support to young people at an early stage to make sure things don’t escalate and become more serious.

We did talk about Covid and even Covid anxiety. The feeling overall was that young people have done incredibly well so far through the crisis despite complex & constantly changing rules. Aaron gave young people huge kudos for all of their efforts in adapting through recent months;

“We are the most adaptable generation, who have listened and changed for the better!”

At the end of the conversation we touched upon Black Lives Matter – a subject that caused a great deal of discussion at the most recent WAY meeting. Aaron was very clear;

“We simply do not stand for racism! It is no longer a question of what – racism is wrong – it is a question of how we are going to solve it!”

“Services are out there to support young people through difficult times”.

Check out HAVE YOU SUPPORT for details of local services and free, safe and anonymous online support from KOOTH

This conversation was supported by Maddie Pawlowicz (Suffolk County Council, Engagement Hub) – thank you Maddie!

HAVE YOU talked with Toby and Aaron about how to build on informative interviews like this. Here are some of our thoughts:

  • There is such a lot here – each subject we covered could be a stand alone conversation!
  • It would be great to produce a series of well produced podcasts featuring different young people and representatives from key organisations.
  • It would be great to invest in podcast skills and improve the quality of future recordings!
  • STAY TUNED to HAVE YOU for exciting news of developments in this area….