Feeling Good Week 2019 – celebrating emotional and physical health and wellbeing

06 March 2019

Young people in Hertfordshire have had the opportunity to focus on their personal development and wellbeing for this year’s Feeling Good Week, with a series of special events organised by YC Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire County Council’s youth service.

Young people who attend YC Hertfordshire projects in St Albans enjoyed a day of activities at Hudnall Park. The group started the day by working outdoors on their team building and communication skills which took them outside of their comfort zone and encouraged them to be physically active.

A workshop allowed the group to discuss their own struggles with mental health, while a visit from a yoga instructor encouraged them to relax and to recognise how positivity affects your body. It also taught the young people mindfulness techniques that they could use in their day to day lives. One young person said: “This is the best thing I have ever done” and another said “I felt so relaxed while doing yoga, it was my favourite part of the day”.

Meanwhile, 12 young people from Watford went to the theatre to see Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’, funded by Feeling Good Week.

LGBTQ young people from the PACT project run by YC Hertfordshire benefitted from   seeing the production based on the true story of a young person who challenges gender ideals and conformity. The group commented on how much they enjoyed the show and how much it boosted their confidence as young people from the LGBTQ community.

Another group who attend the Into The Frame project at Hemel Hempstead Young People’s Centre travelled to Herts Young Mariners Base for an action packed day of archery, canoeing and caving, giving them the opportunity to take part in outdoor physical activities, whilst documenting their experience with the variety of multimedia skills they have developed throughout their time with the project so far.

The day consisted of problem-solving activities that motivated the group to work as a team and to encourage individuals to embrace the course challenges. This promoted both physical and emotional wellbeing and gave young people the opportunity to try something new and to discover the range of possibilities Herts Young Mariners has to offer.

Young people attending YC Hertfordshire projects in North Herts and Stevenage enjoyed a dance workshop and spoken-word poetry workshop as part of Feeling Good Week. The session started with a warm-up game and progressed to a focused dance workshop.

The spoken-word poetry workshop was attended by seven young asylum seekers who attend a YC Hertfordshire project for young people in care. An identity icebreaker to introduce members of the group was followed up by learning how to rhyme words to an instrumental beat. The young people worked with a local performing arts professional specialising in teaching music especially hip hop and rap, to tell the story of their journeys to the UK. This guided process encouraged them to reflect on the experiences of their journeys from various socially and politically unstable countries including Afghanistan and Sudan to create a rap which told their story. 

Young people from the Identity LGBTQ group visited Brighton Museum to attend the Museum of Transology exhibition which included the history of transsexuality in the UK. Several of the young people particularly appreciated the visit as they realised their own experiences were shared by others in the Trans community, which gave them a sense of unity and acknowledgement.

Feeling Good Week is a Hertfordshire-wide event that encourages schools, youth organisations and the wider community to promote children and young people’s emotional wellbeing by raising awareness of mental health and showing where support can be accessed within the community.

Youth organisations, schools, and young people are invited to submit a bid and apply for up to £500 of funding, which has been put forward by Hertfordshire County Council, and the county’s two Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). The bids will be reviewed by a group of young people, and they will judge which projects should receive funding.