Advancing education by contributing to and participating in the production of a periodic lifestyle publication. Upskilling young people through multiple avenues such as writing, photography, filming and Mental Health Ambassadors. Providing support and activities which develop their skills, capacities and capabilities to enable them to participate in society as mature and responsible individuals.
Student Life to train young students who want to become Mental Health Ambassadors in Mental Health First Aid England, who will then become the cohorts for their peers within the school.
The project is delivered to school year 10 & 11 students, 6thforms, colleges and universities. The peer to peer aspect of Student Life is what we strive for, an opportunity for young people to get involved and have their voices heard, a chance for them to volunteer for an organisation where it is completely down to them to run.
Content is based on 12 core subjects: BEAUTY, CAREERS, ENTERTAINMENT, FASHION, FINANCE, FOOD, HEALTH (physical, mental & sexual), MY LIFE, TECH & TRAVEL. We tackle areas highlighted by the students such as stigma and media stereotypes surrounding mental health, body image and bullying. Student Life allows students across Suffolk to make their voices heard through print, online and via interactive workshops.
We reach 1000’s of students across countywide educational venues and have students actively participating in editorial, design and content planning.
We are launching a ground breaking work experience platform which will open up a huge amount of opportunities to all students, giving them unique experiences of the workplace. Not only this, but upskilling young people and providing them with confidence and experience to take on into their ‘adult’ life.
The platform that we are launching allows students to upload their personal profile onto our website which will register their interests, then will get matched to their possible futures! In an ideal situation we would like them to work their way up; from experiencing workplaces all the way to (hopefully) a full time position.
Accessibility is the main reason students tell us that they collaborate with the project; to promote a peer-to-peer organisation covering a broad range of relatable topics. Some of the issues covered within these topics may not have been seen otherwise; as young people tell us they are less likely to pick up a dedicated mental health magazine for example. Student Life provides the benefit of young people being exposed to difficult and stigmatised topics they may otherwise have been too embarrassed or unable to seek advice about. Sharing this content aims to normalise difficult subjects.
The positive effect is not only seen by the end users who gain knowledge and learn that there are others facing similar issues as them, but also extends to upskilling young people contributing throughout the entire production process - whether that be print, digital or film; by exploring their creativity, use of English language, design skills and teamworking - all whilst experiencing a professional environment. We acknowledge that times have changed and that young people predominately use digital platforms for information gathering and engagement. However, month after month the reasons we also offer a print platform are reinforced.
Ensuring that governance is led by students, over 25 students sit on the Student Life steering group and board members of the Charity include the former president of the University of Suffolk’s Students’ Union, a 3rdyear Mental Health Nursing university student and a graduate of Kesgrave High School Sixth Form, now a first year student at the University of Surrey.