Tag Archives: @nolimitshelp

Our 2014 Blog review. Something to say about #vulnerable #youngpeople? Be a #guestblogger in 2015

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 830 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 14 trips to carry that many people

Click here to see the complete report.

#Youngpeople face barriers #minority #culture #age #race #sexuality #religion

In the 21st Century, we live in a society that is seen to be more accepting of people’s sexuality, age, race, nationality and religion. A diverse society allows communities to thrive. Yet it is only too easy for us to forget how minority groups are still subject to suffering. Having recently read an article based on the Rotherham child exploitation scandal, I was shocked to find that many Asian victims of sexual abuse are often alienated and ostracized by their own culture, religion and even families for the fear of bringing shame to the community of which they are a part. This shame culture has meant that many young Asian girls often suffer in silence, with no one to speak to about their distress. I found myself asking why this is the case when we’re meant to be living in a time of equality free from constraints.

An individual’s language, location, cultural or religious considerations can become the significant barrier that prevents some minority groups from accessing the services and support they need. Young people need to be aware that there are free, confidential and non-judgmental services like No Limits available which can provide the help and support they need. Through working with Right 2B Safe, we offer young people who are at risk of abuse, neglect and sexual exploitation the chance to speak out about their suffering in a safe, confidential environment. If you know of someone who is suffering abuse, or you yourself are suffering, then make sure you speak out. No one should suffer in silence.

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Written by Jess Sulzmann

Running away only makes things worse: @nolimitshelp blog #Runaways #YoungPeople #Vulnerable

suicide_male_wallFor many, coming home from a long day at work to a warm, cosy house with a loving family is no luxury, it’s just the norm. However for many children and young people across the UK, the home is a cold place of abuse, neglect and harm. Every year an estimated 200,000 people go missing, half of which are children. Last year at No Limits we saw 66 young people who were runaways, 54 of which were at risk of another vulnerability. Whether they’re running away from someone or something, a missing child is made vulnerable to violent crime, gang exploitation or drug and alcohol misuse. Young people need to be made aware of the dangers of running away and how this can cause a risk to themselves and their families. No Limits works to protect children and young people who are at risk, and helps to provide free support, advice and counselling to prevent suffering. You can help to address the issue of young runaways by donating to No Limits, or by offering your time to volunteer at one of our open access drop-in centres. Don’t let a missing child go unnoticed or unreported.

No Limits: Helping young people help themselves.

By Jess Sulzmann, Intern, Marketing and Communications No Limits

Cyber bullying – A bit of banter or brutally barbaric? @nolimitshelp

30 years ago it was the simple letter, 20 years ago saw the introduction of the mobile phone and most recently we have had Facebook and Twitter. The way we communicate has changed dramatically over the past 3 decades and similarly over time it appears we have become less connected with the impact our words have on each other. The advent of technology infiltrating almost all forms of communication has meant that it is now simple for someone, 4,000 miles away to tell you how bad your hair looks today. Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, the aforementioned Facebook and Twitter as well as less known sites such as ask.com and Kik have become avenues where most cyber bullying occurs. face

Notoriously difficult to catch despite hiding in plain sight, the cyber bully has replaced your traditional ‘playground’ bully and evolved into something more sinister, preying on the vulnerable regardless of race, gender and age . ‘It’s just a bit of a laugh’ they say. ‘I didn’t mean anything by it’ they laugh. ‘Stop taking things so seriously’ they sigh. These are the common refrains from those who enjoy playing the role. They attempt to play down their vicious words and accuse those hurt by their words as being ‘soft’. Of not seeing the funny side to their comments. Of being over dramatic. Again just excuses. But it begs the question: would you say the same thing to a stranger on the street?

Technology has made it easier for people to enjoy anonymity for their actions while at the same time increasing how malicious they become when addressing other people. You only have to look at a YouTube comments page to witness this in action. What’s even more worrying is the age at which this is all starting. Children as young as 12 have been attacking each other over cyber space. All it takes is a mobile and an internet connection. This is a worrying trend that has been steady gathering steam. A recent report published by Childline, shows complaints for cyber bullying have risen by an unbelievable 87% since 2011/2012 which highlights the increasing impact and the severity that this is having on our young people. Youth victims of cyber bullying often experience low self-esteem and are more likely to self-harm as a result with a 41% spike since 2011/2012 reported by Childline. As alarming as that figure is, there is a very real likelihood that it could be even higher with some young people afraid to come forward and report such incidents for fear of even more abuse. The issue of evidence gathering can also be complicated due to the ability to alter comments if they are pasted into a word document.cyberbully

There finally seems to be a shift from the government to attempt to tackle this issues more seriously. Secretary of State for Education, Michael Grove, has called on schools to play a greater role in stopping, “the viciousness and personal cruelty” shown by these bullies. The speed at which this is done is imperative as with each passing day, more and more young people face this cruel torment. Charities such as Cybersmile , were specifically setup to combat these issues and offer services such as a helpline, counselling and community outreach programmes. At No Limits, working in conjunction with Right 2B Safe, we aim to educate young people on how to stay safe when online by offering advice on what to do if they feel threatened online as well as ways in which to report any abuse received.

As much as we would like to hark back to a simpler time, we must all accept that technology, along with all its potential pitfalls, is here to stay. What is imperative is that we educate our young people on the impact their words can have while increasing the support and care needed for those young people who need it.

The tragic story of Hannah Smith, who hung herself after excessive bullying, should be a lesson for us all. One life lost is more than enough reason to make a change.

Ayanda Velempini

 

 

 

 

 

@Nolimitshelp Guest blog by @RowennaDavis Does working hard pay? #youngpeople #NEET

No Limits

No Limits: Helping young people help themselves.

It’s funny how one conversation with a stranger can completely change your views on things. I bet this young person doesn’t even remember talking to me. I met him doing some youth outreach work. He’d stolen some trainers and I was trying to figure out why we were seeing a spike in crime. I remember saying to him, convinced I was right:
“Why would you risk a criminal record just to get a pair of shoes? If that’s what you want, why not work hard at school and get a decent job? Then you could get a new pair every month!” He barely looked up before he gave his answer: “My brother worked really hard at school and went to uni – he’s not got a job, just a bunch of debt. So why should I?”
To be honest, I was stumped. He had a point. Although there’s no excuse for criminal behaviour, too often young people feel that looking for work in the usual way won’t get them anywhere.
The old deal that said if you work hard, you will get a decent job and live in security. Too often this doesn’t apply to this generation. Even if you’re talented and hardworking, you’re lucky to get a job on poverty pay with a zero hour’s contract.
This kind of wasted talent and lack of opportunity is one of the key reasons I’m standing for election in Southampton. We in the Labour Party believe that if you work hard and put the effort in, it will pay off and you will get a decent job. It’s one of the reasons we offer a jobs guarantee for young people who have been out of work for a year.
Of course it will take more than politicians to turn this around. If you’ve got some free time, why not think about volunteering to help the excellent work of No Limits? If you’re a business leader think about what extra work experience and apprenticeships you can offer.
Although right now I’m just a candidate, I’m trying to do my bit by offering work experience to young people interested in politics, so get in touch if you’re interested!
Together we can stop young people feeling like the young man I met, and give them faith that their hard work will pay off.

Guest Blogger Rowenna Davis  Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Southampton Itchen

Rowenna can be contacted at rowenna@southampton-labour.org.uk

Rowena Davis

University Mental Health and Wellbeing Day @nolimitshelp

Every September, over 2.5 million of our brightest minds embark on one of life’s greatest opportunities. Starting university. As exciting as the time can be, it also can be a huge life shock. For many students, this will be the first time they are tasked with living away from home. New surroundings, new people and having to wash up after yourself. All daunting challenges. For those on the outside looking in, the university experience is the ideal prepping ground for adult life, teaching both independence and survival skills. But what happens when it all gets too much for a student? Deadlines, money issues and being homesick can all have an effect on the mental health of students, increasing the feeling of pressure in an already challenging environment.

Today marks the 12th Anniversary of the University Mental Health and Wellbeing Day (UMHAN). Beginning in 2002, UMHAN is held on the third Wednesday of February, the aim is to get those from educational institutions involved in ensuring the wellbeing of both staff and students with mental health difficulties. Previous legislation has often meant that universities where tasked with conceiving and implementing their own approach to students with mental health issues. Due to the rise in the number of students suffering mental health problems, it has become clear that some Universities are failing their students.

suicide_femaleA report by the National Union of Students found that during the university experience, as much as 1 in 4 students will suffer from mental health problems. Of the estimated 2.5 million new university starters, 625,000 will experience mental health problems. This is an exceedingly large number and calls into question why there has been no greater government involvement on the issue. Even more alarming has been the information released by the Royal college of Psychiatrists which has confirmed that university students are more at risk from mental health problems than other young people their age. Although many universities do offer a counselling service to all students and staff, further investigation shows that resources are being woefully stretched to almost breaking point.

Dr. Mark Phippen, head of counselling at Cambridge University, has suggested that in a typical university scenario one counsellor could be responsible for up to four or five thousand students. That is an extremely high proportion of students for just one counsellor to deal with. The impact is not only felt by students unable to access services, but also those staff who are often overwhelmed with the volume of students they have to attend to. In addition, the Royal College of Psychiatrists have reported that funding cuts in this department continue even with these startling statistics. Since 2008, there has been a reported 33% increase in the demand for counselling services simultaneously highlighting the increased pressures students are under as well as the need for resources to be allocated. With more than a quarter of students who have experienced mental health problems not receiving the necessary support, it is imperative that more is done to help those in need before it is too late. suicide_male_wall

Long waiting lists, inadequate staff support and lack of funding are some of the issues surrounding student mental health but there does seem to be a shifting of mind-set amongst those in power. Dr Grant, from the universities representative body Universities UK, has confirmed that a good practice guideline model for student mental health and Wellbeing has been created and it will be followed by all universities that are part of the body. Although this is a small step, it must be recognised as an important one nonetheless. Already there is a sense from many universities that the issue of student mental health is being addressed more seriously. At Royal Holloway University, there has been a marked overhaul to their admissions policy to ensure applicants with mental health problems are judged on their own criteria. Using a twin-tracked application process, the university is able to judge prospective applicants on both exam results as well as health needs. This enables the university to assess what specific care each applicant requires and whether the university can provide the appropriate services.

Furthermore, UMHAN believes that through such simple measures as installing access ramps, hearing loops and making sure factors such as lecture theatres are properly adapted, students with learning disabilities lives will be incredibly enhanced. Although the attitudes towards tackling student mental health have improved, on the evidence there is still more that can and should be done. It is time we removed the stigma associated with mental health to ensure all those who are suffering are given the support and care necessary for them to lead a fulfilled life.

In the words of Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, “Nobody should suffer alone”

Ayanda Velempini

Highs and Lows of #substancemisuse @nolimitshelp

As the UK is gripped by more unrelenting bad weather as the months pass by, there seems to be one thing that is finally loosening its hold. Substance abuse among young people. In an age where the media give us very little to cheer, this should undoubtedly be seen as a small, yet crucial, step in the right direction.

Despite our young people being the European leader in alcohol consumption, a report released by Public Health England has indicated that there was actually a fall in young people seeking help for substance misuse. This is now the fourth year in a row that the trend has continued. Clearly something is working.

On the surface the statistics look very appealing but as we peek behind the curtain, it becomes apparent there is another monster lurking in wait. Legal Highs. The relative ease of access has meant these have become extremely popular, especially among young people. A recent study conducted by World Drug Report indicated that over 670,000 Britons aged between 15-24 had tried legal highs at least once. Although the feeling with many young people may be, “Well if its legal I should be fine” the reality is much starker. As frequency of use increases, so have the inevitable problems. As per the BBC, last year saw a record high number of 52 people die from legal highs or as they put it, “an average of one a week.” Alison Ward, from No Limits, recently spoke to Radio Solent about legal highs and gave the views of charity. You can hear the full interview here.

There is no doubt that substance abuse is intrinsically linked with the vulnerability of an individual.  With over 30% of the child population in Southampton in poverty, this makes them extremely susceptible and vulnerable to such situations.  At No Limits, we have a project named DASH which aims to help young people get information, advice and support if they are struggling with any kind of substance abuse.

So next time you or anyone you know of goes through troubling times with substance misuse, pop in to one of our drop in centres  to find some support and help.

Ayanda Velempini