Defining Me

This project was funded by the National Lottery Awards for All England

What is it and who is it for?

We were funded to design, develop and deliver an intervention and prevention programme for two cohorts of Year 10 pupils in a secondary school in Wolverhampton. We delivered the programme to one group of boys and one group of girls (24 pupils aged between 14 and 15 years).

The programme, Defining Me, supported participants to develop the confidence to be self-reflective, self-critical and self-regulate their conduct to ensure that they have thought through the consequences of their actions, understand the potential outcomes/impact and that they are defined by what people see and hear

What we did

We worked with the school to identify those pupils who would benefit most from their engagement with the programme.

The key components of Defining Me were based on our successful programme Safe Hands; activities which we tailor and augment to meet the needs of the pupils we work with as well as addressing the issues present in the localities in which the schools are located.

We deployed a range of creative tools and activities to convey the messages, maintain engagement and ensure that the learning was fun. Our approach is relaxed and informal and engenders trust, ensuring that the pupils are able to speak freely about how they are feeling in a safe and non-judgemental space.

During the eight session programme for each cohort, over a sixteen week period, we explored amongst other things dealing with risky situations, risky behaviours, relationships, personal branding, the importance of projecting a positive version of themselves and aspirations and ambitions. We also explored mental health, stress triggers and identified and developed coping mechanisms to mitigate their impact on their lives and studies.

We took both cohorts to the University of Wolverhampton, School of Medicine and Clinical Practice, for a session exclusive to them around the dangers of carrying and using weapons with a particular focus on knives, the impact of stabbings on the body and what to do if they or a friend were injured in such circumstances.

Both cohorts were given a journal to be used as they wish though we encouraged they use it to capture the things that are important to them as individuals i.e. their thoughts and feelings, worries and concerns, dreams and aspirations throughout the programme and for use beyond.  Entries could be in whatever form they chose e.g. drawings, sketching, words (prose, poetry etc), photos, collage etc. We also encouraged the use of the journal for self-reflection and to act as an ad memoir.

As part of this programme we also provided 1-2-1 support and advocacy.