teen-spirit

Teens

For more than 20 years, we have run dedicated programmes for young people aged 13 to 19.  We recognise that this is a special and a tricky part of everyone’s life, and it can be particularly hard to navigate when you are also living with the impact of trauma and adversity.  We’re interested in you – in finding out about your passions, interests and ambitions, and helping you develop them for your life and career to come. Your siblings and parents/caregivers are welcome too, with separate programmes dedicated to people younger and older than you.  If you participate in any of our programmes, you’ll find:

Teen Spirit for adopted young people

If you experience disruption as a child, it can have a lasting impact on your life.  When very young people experience anxiety, for instance, they often feel more guarded about other relationships as they get older – and with very good reason!  But the strategies we develop for protecting ourselves can have a big downside too: they can make it much more difficult to handle situations that other people seem to find really easy – e.g. talking to people you don’t know or who have some power over you; talking to people who make you angry etc.  And all this going on while you’re already dealing with the joys and insecurities of adolescence, the trickiest, most unpredictable period of change any of us have to navigate.  If you’re experiencing some of these issues, then you’ll find here:

A monthly Saturday programme of activities designed specifically for you. There is a great mix of workshops, projects and courses, from bouldering to designing puppets and avatars, videography to urban dancing – with one-to-one coaching so you get the most out of whatever you’re interested in, and plenty of social time to develop friendships.

An individual peer mentor who you can talk to when you need to as well as access to our remote support team who work actively to keep in touch and find out how life is going.

Ongoing support throughout the week, including: legal experts; appointments with our counsellors; help with schoolwork, housing or employment issues; and someone you trust who can talk to other people on your behalf – teachers, doctors, your family etc.

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Teen Spirit for young people living with HIV

Whether you are HIV positive or you are close to someone who is, we know that getting to grips with it can be tough.  There’s the day-to-day practical impact on your life (hospital visits, medication, associated illnesses etc) and then there are all the other challenges you have to deal with, including managing worries about health and the future, and living with stigma and prejudice.  And all that during one of the most complicated and stressful periods any of us ever live through, full of great joys but also terrible insecurities and uncertainty.  So, first and foremost, Teen Spirit is a friendly group of young people who share similar experiences and a space where you can really be yourself without any of the masks you might want to put up elsewhere.  And if you become a member of Teen Spirit, you’ll find:

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A monthly Saturday programme of activities designed specifically for you. There is a great mix of workshops, projects and courses, from bouldering to designing puppets and avatars, videography to urban dancing – with one-to-one coaching so you get the most out of whatever you’re interested in, and plenty of social time to develop friendships.

An individual peer mentor who you can talk to when you need to as well as access to our remote support team who work actively to keep in touch and find out how life is going.

Ongoing support throughout the week, including: legal experts; appointments with our counsellors; help with schoolwork, housing or employment issues; and someone you trust who can talk to other people on your behalf – teachers, doctors, your family etc.

‘You Are Not Alone’ for young people who have attempted suicide

We know life can be overwhelming, and particularly between the ages of 13-19.  You’re living through one of the most complicated periods of change and unpredictability, a time of conflicting obligations and fierce insecurities, with huge potential for upset, anger and isolation.  And on top of all that, you are likely to be dealing with much more besides – socially and emotionally, at school or at home, in your past or right now.  So it makes sense that you may feel suicidal or want to self-harm.  That’s why, when you feel like life isn’t worth living, you won’t feel judged here.  Instead, you’ll find a friendly group of young people with some of the same experiences and a dedicated programme of support, including:

A weekly session of group-based therapy, with an emphasis on practical steps you can take when life feels really difficult.

Ongoing support throughout the week, with access to: legal experts; help with housing or employment; academic mentors; an adult you trust who can talk to family, school or doctors on your behalf; and a wider team with rich therapeutic experience who really want to understand you – your hopes and dreams, and what’s actually going on in your day-to-day life – not just why life doesn’t always feel bearable.

And sometimes when you’re having a hard time, important relationships become strained and that makes the problem worse. So, if you’d like to, you can nominate a friend or family member to access support that explores some of these interpersonal challenges and helps strengthen those bonds again.

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