Four years ago today, on International Women’s Day, the seed of an idea was planted – it grew and became what is now Make (Good) Trouble, a company run by three women. Our idea was to give young people a voice, to help them to be more resilient and to become positive change-makers. We wanted to address the issues young people faced, and the problems parents had in understanding them.
Today, five young people talked to us about who inspires them and what makes a strong woman.
Thanks to Gemma, Astrid, Kaia, Daisy and Jude for their contributions -all posted below – and to Amelie for her IWD takeover on our Instagram today!
Anne Longfield’s final speech today as Children’s Commissioner for England put children front and centre and asked the government if it is “serious about ‘building back better’ and ‘levelling up’?” Anne had a lot to say about the need for better care for vulnerable young people whose problems have been exacerbated by Covid.
What really struck a chord with us was Anne’s point that “the system needs to help professionals develop relationships with children.” And whilst this might seem like a no-brainer, she also said, “I have been shocked to discover that many officials have never met any of the children they are responsible for.”
This point is fundamentally at the heart of Make (Good) Trouble’s ethos, which is to give young people a voice, and to give them agency in their own lives and their futures. Young people are co-creators on all our projects, giving them new and transferable skills in digital media production in the process.
During her six-year tenure as Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne has been a brilliant champion for children. She made time to connect with Make (Good) Trouble and was interviewed by our young reporter Lola, and later by a group of teens who answered Anne’s questions.
Anne’s focus has been to listen to the voices of young people, and particularly vulnerable children such as those in care or those in detention “in secure children’s homes, secure training centre, young offenders institutions, mental health wards and other residential placements, either for their own safety or the safety of others”. Her focus on building up good data on children has shone a light on those in poverty or at risk of being drawn into gangs and county lines. “Vulnerable children stay in the ‘its too difficult’ box”, she said, adding, “people in charge of the system, don’t understand the needs of children”.
If you have time, we also recommend you listen to this podcast episode where Anne speaks to children involved with Football Beyond Borders – a fantastic organisation who help children who are struggling at school by using their passion for football to engage them and improve their life chances.
Find out more about the work of the Children’s Commissioner:
The brilliant Kit Messenger from Changing Chances joined us this morning for a live chat about raising teens and dealing with conflict. She gave us some great parenting advice about how to have those difficult conversations, when to have them, and how to ask the right questions of your teen to get a positive outcome.
If you’ve had battles over homework, staying out, not helping with the housework… and all the rest! then it’ll be well worth a watch. It’s just 32 minutes long.
We’ll be chatting with Kit again in the coming weeks, so if you have any questions, leave a message in the comments below.
We spoke to the REBOOT Sussex team this morning about their work with at-risk teens – those at risk of being involved in crime as well as being a victim of crime. REBOOT uses a pioneering one-to-one, tailored approach to supporting young people, partnering them with a mentor youth coach, in order to keep them away from crime and building skills and resilience. It fills a gap to help those on the periphery of criminal activity and leads them on to more positive behaviours.
In the Q&A they discussed what parents could do if they have concerns about their child – and also how to spot signs of them being drawn into criminality.
Daisy Cresswell from Make (Good) Trouble was joined by REBOOT Operational lead, Roisin Vafaee , John Wilkes, Head of Partnerships for the Office of the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, and Laura Hussey, REBOOT Youth Worker.