Celebrating the innovation and resilience of young people

Resilience, self-responsibility and confidence were the hall-marks of all the young people from across Cornwall who were celebrated last night at an awards evening at the Eden Project.

The Youth in Mind project is a partnership between Cornwall Council’s HeadStart Programme, which is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and Pirate FM, which immersed young people into a world of film making and creativity.

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Groups from across the County created their own story ideas, designed a production plan and set about filming and editing their films, based on subjects close to their hearts.  Videos ranged from A Guide to Being Kind, which was produced by students at Pencalenick School to Pride and Not Prejudice, which was produced by young people from Mullion School.

The Lead for the HeadStart Programme, Kate Pordage, said: “It is absolutely amazing to have them finally altogether in the same room, celebrating what they’ve done. Because every step of the way, all the films, every decision about how to shoot it, what they wanted to include and the message they wanted to get across was in the hands of young people.

“I think we’ve demonstrated tonight just how fantastic these young people are. If you give them responsibility they will run with it!”

HeadStart Kernow is a Big Lottery funded partnership programme led by Cornwall Council, which aims to develop resilience and mental well-being in young people.

Kate continued: “It’s been an absolute joy to meet up with all the young people again - it’s a delight to come back and see how they’ve grown and moved on, it’s magic!

“I have seen young people that have grown in confidence and belief in their own abilities.  We put children front and centre of this process; they chose the title of the project, they’ve designed the logo, they’ve come up with the social media ideas; they’ve done absolutely everything themselves and as you can see the results are fantastic.”

Over the last year HeadStart Kernow have partnered with Pirate FM to train up teams of young people to plan, produce and film a series of their own short films. The aim was to focus on what 10 – 16 year olds in Cornwall think about emotional wellbeing, mental health and what could be done to make things better.

Jack was one of the young people that took part in the project, he said: “Being a part of this project has been amazing, absolutely fantastic. It’s been a brilliant way to show what our group, our community is really about and not to just let people believe stereotypes.”

Friends, family and specially invited guests watched as the young people each received a certificate.  Portfolio Holder and Cabinet Member for Health and Well Being, Sally Hawken, said; “It’s been absolutely fantastic and it’s really great to be reminded of the standard of work being produced by these young people. There is a really clear thing here; these are not films that adults have suggested they make, instead they look like films a young person has created from the ground up and that’s fabulous.”

More information is available on the Youth in Mind awards website or online on the HeadStart Kernow website.