Starting off a new year with a new you is a good idea but for some of us, we feel like we can’t change or are stuck in a habit or addiction. Today we were visited by Recharge, a Telford based support network for 12-21 year olds, who work with people who feel that way.
Based in Brookside and helping people across Telford and Wrekin, Recharge was set up four years ago by Rebecca Blount, a youth worker from the area. Having had struggles herself when she was younger, Rebecca felt that back then there wasn’t any help out there and wanted to develop a support system for young people, where all staff and volunteers there have been through the struggles which their users have and can actually relate to them.
Recharge are tackling a range of emotional wellbeing, addictions and anxiety issues, as well as hosting supportive groups for LGBTQ, young mums and music therapy. Rebecca said, “People know a lot more about mental health now, we’ve got a good idea about the support young people need. It’s fantastic that the college are acknowledging the problems their students might have.”
Everything that is talked about in the small groups formed for each project – only ever up to 6 people – stays in the group and remains confidential at all times unless there is a chance a member is in serious danger. Each group will set their own boundaries so that they are comfortable together, creating a safe place to share and in turn a safe place to fall.
Speaking to students, Rebecca added, “We’ll hold you, we’ll pick you up and we’ll set you back on the right path.”
Recharge are open throughout the day in the week but also offer evening sessions, which the students were invited to attend. Rebecca encouraged students to attend not only for themselves but if they were finding it hard because a family member or friend was suffering from an issue she’d mentioned. One student said, “It’s been very informative. It is useful to know we have these services available in Telford and to know where they are.”
Dan Blasczyk, the enrichment lead for the college, had arranged the visit and said, “It’s really important that we make our students aware of these brilliant service providers we have in the local area. We need to support our students in the best way we can because mental health effects us all and everyone deals with it differently but nobody needs to deal with it alone.
“I’m glad that Rebecca has come in today and I would encourage any students who are struggling or just need to take a weight off their shoulders to get in touch with Recharge or come and speak to someone in the college support team. There’s always someone to listen to what you have to say.”
Dan will be providing talks such as these throughout the year, to promote mental health awareness, as well as sessions on all aspects of living a healthy lifestyle, extra-curricular achievements and student-focused events. If you are interested in how you can increase your enrichment hours or want to join us as a student ambassador, you can visit Dan in the library or email him: Daniel.Blasczyk@telfordcollege.ac.uk.