This year I have been working with Phase as the 'Self-harm Support Intern' and what an exciting year it has been. I've seen Phase achieve so much and am excited about the future of the charity which I will continue to support and be involved with, just perhaps from more of a distance as my next three years will be spent up north at Newcastle University studying psychology.
As well as seeing Phase achieve and develop and look ahead to the future, it has been amazing to see young people I have worked with also achieve and look ahead to the future. Through 1-1 mentoring, self-harm groups in school and Creative Space I have met many young people struggling with their emotions and circumstance and turning to self-harming behaviours in order to cope. It's a heart-breaking situation that Hitchin is in with so many young people struggling in this way but no one is ever too lost or broken to move beyond where they are stuck for now. By believing in these young people, meeting them where they are at, encouraging them in their strengths and offering advice we begin to help them understand their emotions, understand self-harm and move on from it. Move a few small steps down to path to recovery.
For me Creative Space has been a massive highlight of the year. I began planning this project at the beginning of my time with Phase and spent a term applying for funding and organising how we would launch our idea. In February we had our first session of Creative Space and since then have had many young people attend creative space with the majority coming regularly. Seeing all the young people grow in confidence, open up more to other people and explore their own identity beyond their struggles has been incredible.
Let's Talk videos, Sixth Form induction workshops, mentoring, team retreats, therapeutic groups, blogging, speaking at The Big Mental Health Day, hosting information stands at the college, designing resources, self-harm awareness day, blogging and helping with interviews have all been great things to be involved with. Never a dull moment when you work for Phase.
As well as this, my year with Phase has helped me grow and develop so much myself. With such a supportive and encouraging team around me I've been guided to build on my skills that have enabled me to help the young people I work with and feel more confident in working in this area, something I wish to do in the future. I also feel I have learned a lot about myself and also about my own journey battling with self-harm as a teenage which has allowed me to move further on from this and use it in a positive way to help other people. The team being ever willing to answer my complicated questions has also meant I have grown massively in my faith.
Phase, for all you do, have done and will do - thank you.
Don't stop doing what you're doing!
Phase is a charity which is dependent on donations. Text MAKE05 £5 to 70070 to donate £5