Friends and Community
The Hive – Wirral Youth Zone
The Hive is a brand new £6m youth zone in Birkenhead which opened in April 2017, for all young people aged between 8-19 (or up to 25 with a disability). Click here to find out more
“Our friendships are among the most valuable relationships we have. We gain in various ways from different friendships and without friendships, people of all ages suffer. Friendships also form one of the foundations of our ability to cope with the problems that life throws at us” (sense.org.uk, 2016).
“Research has shown that friendship provides an emotional support network in times of crisis, boosts happiness and reduces stress, improves self-confidence and is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. So when people with disabilities say they want friendships but experience considerable difficulties in making and maintaining them – and that can really impact on their lives in a profound way – we need to think about that” (sense.org.uk, 2016).
The Befriending Service
The Befriending Service run by Autism Together is a group of young adults aged between 14 – 18 years old and aims at encouraging friendships, independence and confidence. The young people decide when and where they would like to meet up and decide as a group on the activities we might do, for example we have been on many trips out to Chester Zoo, Alton Towers, shopping, out for lunch, visiting the cinema and much more!
These sessions are facilitated by a member of our team, who is there to help guide the young adults in making appropriate decisions, using public transport, money management and help to plan the activities. The groups are kept to small groups of up to 5 individuals and separated into boys and girls; however the groups will meet up occasionally for joint activities.
These groups also have a monthly meet up session at our office in Birkenhead, this is a great chance for a slow introduction into the groups and meet the leaders. Please get in touch with a member of our team to find out the next dates!
Sex and Relationships
All pupils are entitled to receive sex and relationship education as part of the National Curriculum, unless parents ask for them to be withdrawn from lessons. Secondary schools must provide sex and relationship education. It must include teaching about AIDS, HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections, and be given in a way which encourages pupils to consider moral issues and the value of family life. The detailed content and nature of sex education is for school governing bodies to decide. Parents may request a copy of the school’s sex and relationship policy and may chooseto withdraw their children from all or part of sex education.
Brook offers sexual health and relationship services and advice for young people under 25. You can speak to a nurse, counsellor or youth worker. They also have information and guidance about social media and staying safe on-line.
Being part of a community is important for our health and wellbeing. It helps us to feel connected and part of a bigger picture. There are many ways to connect to others in the community such as leisure activities, volunteering, local events, sponsored activities and fundraising for a good cause.
NCS – National Citizenship Service
NCS is a great way to get involved in your local community.
The National Citizen Service gives young people aged 16 and 17 and all those in Years 11 and 12 the chance to go on short breaks and get work experience which can contribute towards UCAS statements and job applications.
This year’s scheme includes an outdoor pursuits adventure, a camping trip to Wirral Country Park and the planning and implementation of an important social action project in their local community.
“Short Breaks are for disabled children and young people; to relieve the strain on families and reduce stress for parents whilst giving the child or young person an opportunity to get away from the family home, enjoy new experiences, make new friends and meet new people.
A Short Break means that your child or young person can enjoy and experience the activities that they are interested in with the support of a skilled Short Break Worker and that you can take a break confident that your child is with a trained worker” (KIDS, 2016)
Watch a video about short breaks.
Find out more about leisure activities in Wirral.