COMMUNITY ANCHORS: Times of change

Words & pics supplied by Urban Devotion Birmingham

We are in a time of change for many young people.

Whether it’s the end of a school year, saying goodbye to school or college, or finishing exams, there is a significance in finishing the academic year and looking ahead to what’s next.

This time of transition happens to coincide with another huge moment of potential transition and change – a general election! No matter the outcome, this can be a time of turbulence, of promised changes, and a country waiting in anticipation.

Change can be exciting and good for us. It can also induce fear, anxiety and high levels of stress.

Over-exposure to the stress related with change can have negative impacts, especially on children and young people even disrupting brain development when experienced for prolonged periods of time.

One of the privileges we have at UDB is to be a source of stability and continuity for young people, giving them spaces to self-express, de-stress and find consistency.

These things aren’t limited to us as youth workers; if you know a young person why don’t you check in with them in the next few days? The well-used saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is so true and you showing care can make a real difference.

As you do that we’d love for you to encourage them to connect with one of our spaces so that we can be part of that village too. Use the QR code to see what we are up to.

For more on Urban Devotion Birmingham visit www.urbandevotion.org or scan the QR code in this article.

Urban Devotion Birmingham is a key partner in the Erdington Local COMMUNITY ANCHORS programme, supporting independent local and community journalism.

COMMUNITY ANCHORS: Exams and young people’s wellbeing

Words & pics supplied by Urban Devotion Birmingham

Exam season has begun, and it can be a stressful time to be a young person. Whether as a year 6 pupil, feeling nervous about the big move to secondary, or preparing for GCSE’s or A-Levels, it can be a pressure filled time of year.

The problem is that this pressure can become a negative and crippling force in many young people’s lives, impacting their mental wellbeing in small or significant ways.

For some this can look like overworking and getting stuck in revision. For others it may be complete avoidance or an inability to sit and revise.

As adults we can all play a significant role in helping make this time less stressful and mentally taxing for young people by encouraging and role modelling what it looks like to find a healthy balance between focus, rest and play is essential.

The reality is succeeding during exams does require times of focus, and revision cannot be ignored.

But it also needn’t be all consuming. We all need time to rest our minds and our bodies, and making sure young people know ways to rest and relax is important.

Play can be a great way to do this. This will look different for different ages and for different people, but includes elements of exploration, creativity, and fun.

Perhaps it’s playing a sport, or painting, or jumping on a trampoline – the possibilities are endless! This is as essential for our mental wellbeing, and performance, as getting a good night’s sleep.

For more on Urban Devotion Birmingham visit www.urbandevotion.org

Urban Devotion Birmingham is a key partner in the Erdington Local COMMUNITY ANCHORS programme, supporting independent local and community journalism.

COMMUNITY ANCHORS: Come and say hello – a message from Urban Devotion Birmingham

Words by Amy Heyes, Co-director at UDB / Artwork by Ash Porter

For the last 20 years we have been engaging with young people, children, and families in Erdington.

You may see our team out walking the streets in our blue coats and hoodies, or with our Mobile Youth Venue (MYV) – come and say hi if you do! In addition to this we work with local primary and secondary schools and run weekly free, open access drop-ins for children, families, and young people in partnership with the churches that host us. Snacks are included and if you’re a child or young person we’d love to see you there.

Between Monday and Tuesday, we run a children’s and two youth drop-ins from the basement of St Martins Church on Witton Lodge Road.

On a Tuesday we also host a youth cafe from St Barnabas’ Café on Erdington High Street.

We have a Wyrley Birch family drop-in on a Wednesday. In the summer this is on Witton Lakes, through the winter Lakeside have hosted us.

On Thursdays we take our MYV to Erdington Oaks Play Park on Topcroft, and we also run both a family and youth drop in at Lighthouse Church in Pype Hayes.

Every Friday we finish the week with a children’s and a youth drop-in from St Chads Church on Stoneyhurst Road, Erdington Hall.

Please scan our QR code to see more information including sign up forms and a link to our Instagram and Facebook accounts where we share updates and last minute changes – please check before attending, especially in school holidays.

For more on Urban Devotion Birmingham visit www.urbandevotion.org

Urban Devotion Birmingham is a key partner in the Erdington Local COMMUNITY ANCHORS programme, supporting independent local and community journalism.