This particular group at loveLife Generation include a core group of about 10-15 dedicated young people who first came together 4 years ago. They are between the ages of 16 -17.
Through loveLife Generation, they initially developed their leadership skills and gained mentoring accreditation which they used to mentor younger students who were transitioning in school. Their commitment saw them further develop their skills as Ubuntu peer coaches but what makes them stand out is their desire to make a difference to their local community.
To this end they have involved themselves in many projects, volunteering their time to the following:
- Revamping the youth zone garden where they spent an entire summer gardening and building a seating area for everyone to enjoy. There have been 2 community barbecues with young people and adults alike so have met the aim of bringing people together.
- Community hampers were created and put together by the young people to build bridges with neighbours who had a negative view of young people. They also offered hampers to the elderly at a local church who were blown away at the young people’s generosity.
- Magic tricks of kindness were given out where the young people stood outside a train station doing magic tricks, these magic tricks were just simply reading out motivational quotes the young people wrote out on the playing cards. They also gave out free hugs really creating moments of pure humanity.
- A street café outside a bus stop on Katherine road sees these young people give out free hot drinks and snacks to locals and passers byers. This project has seen people stop by to speak to the young people for more than 30 mins at a time and is a project the young people really want to grow across Newham!
This group truly deserve recognition for their efforts and visible difference they are making to their community and the hearts and minds of people. Last year, the young people lost a friend, who was also part of loveLife Generation to suicide. One member also lost her father to cancer in a very short time. The young people have been through a lot together, but their resilience has persevered. As a way of moving forward, the young people decided that no young people should have to suffer from mental health issues alone or at the very least be able to talk to their friends. As such they set up a fundraising page and undertook mental health training so that it could start with them, so they would be in a good place to support others. It is important to include this to highlight that the young people took part in all these social action projects despite their own personal trauma.
“Lovelife Generation Group have completed a phenomenal amount of work in and around the local community, they are a great group, who at times inspire me and remind why I work in the youth and community field.” – David Bigglestone, Youth worker