Kaia, 17, is one of the organisers of the Black Lives Matter protest that takes place in Brighton on 13 June 2020, in solidarity with the protesters in America and around the world over the death of George Floyd. Here she writes about why we’re marching and what is being done to safeguard participants.

This peaceful (but not silent) protest will commemorate the changes already marked in history, but also be the start of ticking the boxes left untouched.

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We hope to see you there!!!!

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This march has been assessed thoroughly by all the coordinators of the team, delving into legal matters and collaborating with others in order to gain a better idea of how to conduct this safely. From the compassion of many participants, we are stacking up on PPE and raising awareness of the imperative safety procedures on our Instagram account. We are in contact with the council, and developing our routes to ensure the safety of the protesters and we are also highlighting the importance of keeping social distance. This will be reiterated at the protest, as well as information about PPE, protesting rights and other matters that will ease any fears around the event.   

This movement will allow thousands to stand in solidarity with the victims in America to a corrupt, explicit and oppressive system. We walk alongside many others participating across the UK and across the globe who are instigating movements akin to ours, but we also can walk with our ancestors that fought for the foundations we have today. We all can then provide the foundations for those in the future, who may have to continue this legacy. United, we can shatter the ideology of this fight for equality being black and white; Black Lives Matter is a movement that is pro-black, not anti-white. On the 13th of June, a day symbolic of the 13th amendment, we can highlight the barriers maintaining this racial hierarchy and start to find solutions on a large scale and a small scale. Participants of all ages, all genders, all sexualities, all ethnicities, all religions can start to learn about the world and its very constructors, which were hidden from the education system and those in authority. By being black, you are the products of the history our ancestors did not choose, and it’s not just down to black people to fix it.   

If you have any other questions/queries, please feel free to contact us on our Instagram account (@brighton.blm)!  

Justice. Continue the legacy!  

Kaia, 17

In our third episode of this special lockdown series of Raising Teens, we look at how families with separated parents are coping. With the lockdown starting to be relaxed in coming weeks, topics include co-parenting, differing attitudes to lockdown rules and guidelines, keeping safe in the pandemic and missing a parent, children or siblings you don’t live with. Guests and teens explore creative ways to keep in touch and what’s behind conflict and flare-ups at home.

It’s a really positive episode full of great advice. Host Guy Lloyd talks to guests, Alex Psaila from Relate, Stephen Woodward, Relationship and Parental Counsellor from Brighton & Hove Council, and parent of five, Michelle.

You can hear Raising Teens on BBC Radio Sussex and Surrey at 7.30pm on Mondays and Wednesdays and online on BBC Sounds.

🔊 Listen to Raising Teens: Separated Parenting in Lockdown on BBC Sounds

Listen to previous episodes of Raising Teens in this special lockdown series:

🔊 Listen to Lockdown Home Schooling on BBC Sounds

🔊 Listen to Anxiety in a Pandemic on BBC Sounds

Help & Advice

Relate, offers relationship support and counselling

Brighton & Hove council’s advice for separated or separating parents who want to find ways to improve their relationship and get on better.

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.

NSPCC, advice and information on separation and divorce, including your rights around child contact.

Young Minds, advice on supporting a child during separation and divorce.

Make (Good) Trouble’s Beren, 19, has decided to ditch social media for a month, “to make this experience of lockdown more positive”. With the enforced pause in many young people’s lives due to lockdown, many have taken the time to reflect on their priorities and what they want from life.

Here Beren discusses why he’s switching off, and what the first few days have been like. 

Day 1

Today I have felt a massive shift in my motivation to do things that I usually wouldn’t do. For example, reading books, making a vlog and thinking of how we can create a world of happiness and love. 

In our day-to-day lives we never stop for a minute to think about what we really desire. Most of our actions are conditional and unambitious. This first day has given me a moment of stillness and a pause, from the fast-moving world around us, to think. I have thought about what I would like to happen in my life and what I want to do, as well as how this affects other people. I want to inspire people to do something different that makes a positive change in their life. Social media is so amazing but only if it is used in a positive way to network and bring people together. The images we get from social media are normally fake and inspire people to look a certain way. Social media should inspire people but not to change their appearance. It should be a place where we encourage a healthy and exciting lifestyle. We shouldn’t rely on this privilege or we cannot be our true selves. 

Day 2

I have realised that we humans can have such a good time being productive and be in a really good headspace. But when one thing goes badly or stresses you out, our mental health goes downhill very quickly. Feeling stressed made me feel sick and like I was getting ill and I suddenly felt really tired. So I think social media is good sometimes to get our minds off things but can suck a lot of time out of us. Now I have to sit with my thoughts and I’m going to read a book to destress. I hope it works. 

Day 3 

Today has been such a good day. recorded my vlog for yesterday. From this day I have had more time to think. Our daily lives are what we make them to be and will be as productive and exciting or as boring and lazy as we set out then to be. If we are unmotivated, we will be so lazy and fall into bad habits. But that little bit of effort to make a good routine will fulfil all the desires we have daily. 

What I’m trying to say is that thing that is a little harder than doing nothing may just fill you with joy and happiness that will last days, instead of that minor joy from social media which only lasts the duration. 

Also, today I realised I have been more connected with love for things around me. Such as nature, animals and my family.

You can follow Beren’s adventure on his vlog.

Make (Good) Trouble teen reporter, Lola Ray, spoke to Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, and asked her about her work as “the eyes and ears of kids in the system” during her six year term and her hopes for the future for young people. They discussed lockdown and how it’s affecting teens, parents and teachers.

Longfield says that her main focus in her six years as Children’s Commissioner for England, has been to “shine a light on those vulnerable kids. I really felt that they were so overlooked. Often invisible, if you like, to the services. They’re the children who fell through the gaps, got excluded from school, were in secure accommodation, the ones that were in secure accommodation. And in a way, the system couldn’t cope with the kids, rather that the kids couldn’t cope with the system.”

She calls for the government to look at these children’s situations, find these children and give them the support they need. She calls for there to be a vulnerable children and family recovery programme.

With school exclusions on the rise, Anne Longfield argues that schools should have a positive inclusion policy, whereby children that are excluded are helped to get back to their school as soon as possible. “I want them to be looking at when children need support and really providing that. If there is an exclusion, I want that to be a trigger… But if there is a reason why that child can’t continue in mainstream education… then I want them to get the best support they can… Alternative provision costs about six times as much as school per pupil. So we should expect it to be fantastic. We should expect it to be the best therapist, the best personal tutoring – all of those things to give to those kids who are having a tough time in school, the boost they need to get them back.”

Asked what she would do if she could make just one change to help young people, Longfield said: “I would like young people, and kids generally, to have their place at the top table, that they’re actually part of the decision-making and that there is a recognition that kids are 20 percent of our population but they’re 100 percent of our future. And if we fail kids, what does that mean for society in the future? Whether you think about it in terms of young people themselves, or indeed of all of us, we’re all going to benefit if we can give kids the opportunities they need and the springboard into adult life.”

Find out more about the work of the Children’s Commissioner for England.
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