Inspiring Youth

feeding spirit, finding self

The Magic of Childhood, the Voice of Youth and a Vision for Society

“ Do you believe in fairies?” asks Peter Pan as Tinkerbell lies dying. Only the answer ‘yes’ can bring her back to life. It is well known that young children believe in the existence fairies and for them the land of Tinkerbell and fairy tales is a reality. What happens to that belief as the child grows through youth to adulthood? Perhaps we are doing our children a disservice when later in life we assume that magic no longer exists for them.

In ancient cultures, as in tribal cultures today, children were supported through key stages of their development by their community offering Rites of Passage, ceremonies and group support. The Elders of the Community played a crucial role in this, passing on wisdom and traditions, actively providing opportunities for boys to become men and for girls to take their place in society as young women.

Children and young people have needs and express themselves on many levels. Recognition of physical and emotional development has become well established. But how are the spiritual needs of young people met today?

When large numbers of young people are self-harming, develop eating disorders and have poor self-image and low self-esteem, something is lacking their life. It appears that fundamentalist organisations and networks have an appeal which our culture lacks, with a strong narrative of heroism, purpose and belonging. Could providing adequate rites of passage and spiritual support enable young people find their own vision and narratives, making sense of the world around them and preserving a sense of magic and personal power?

We wish to examine these issues and more. We wish to recognise and encourage young people’s thirst for magic, their need for heroism and belonging and their need to be heard and taken seriously, bearing in mind that today’s young people are the “Earth keepers” and decision makers of the future.

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Promoting a holistic approach to mental, emotional and physical health.

Emotional crises are something that we all have to face at some point in our lives. Depression and anxiety are common place in our culture, but from an artistic and spiritual context these crises have meaning and value. We aim to empower young people to navigate these difficult territories and to step confidently into adulthood through self awareness (mindfulness), meditation, self-realisation, engaging directly with their experiences and feelings and by giving them the emotional and spiritual tools they need to be able to make their own way through the ups and downs of life.

It has now been proved that most addictions are, at root, trauma based and many mental and physical problems are stress related. This means that emotional healing and well-being needs to be a priority in our culture now including how we educate our children and young people.

Inspiring Youth works by:

  • Giving young people platforms to express themselves and have their voices heard through forums, conferences and workshops.
  • Connecting them to youth workers in their field of interest who can pass on important life skills and support them to follow their chosen path in life.

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Skills for Life Workshop

Self knowing and awareness is what allows you to recognise your unique gifts and to have the confidence to follow through on your ideas so that others can benefit from them. Self care and self love is what allows you to relax, access calm which helps you to think straight, and improves your mental and physical health. Relating.

Love Space

LOVESPACE was a show about bringing people together to celebrate life. Inspired by the death of friends and people I worked with last year, I was moved to make a show about what matters most in life  – love, creativity and our shared humanity. Since moving to London I was struck by the level of talent of many of the young people that I had met through the Alliance for Childhood at City Hall when I was organising the young people’s conference last year. Given the talent of these young people and my own particular skill set as a musician, I decided to organise a show instead of conference to have these young people’s voices heard in a more entertaining way.  Read more

 

Inspiring Youth Forum

We organised a series of talks and events in London where people were invited to speak about innovative work with young people and where young people themselves shared their concerns and interests.

Topics included: Grandparents with Louise Coe and Sally Jenkinson; The Silent Scream – self harm and the needs of today’s young people with Loraine Doherty and Rites of Passage with Imelda Almqvist.

 

Find out more

You can find more information on the UK website, www.allianceforchildhood.co.uk under ‘Inspiring Youth’ and join our group on Facebook.

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