Superstars - Team Catch 22
Include this article in your Skills Builder Journal. It could help you develop...
As part of their Keep Doing Good experience, Courtney and her team knew they wanted to take on a social action project that would help people feel better about themselves.
“We’d just come out of lockdown and we knew a lot of people were struggling with their mental health, including ourselves, and our friends, so it was something we wanted to raise awareness of,” said Courtney.
The team put their heads together and started thinking about different ways they could raise awareness on a subject that they felt needs more representation.
“Although mental health is a big thing, we didn’t think it’s talked about widley enough yet. Especially when it comes to male mental health, there’s still so much that needs to be said.”
Originally the group thought about doing some fundraising for mental health charities within their community, but as their time frame was quite short, they wanted to do something that would have a big impact and last a long time.
“Our team leaders told us that past groups had made videos and we thought that was a really good idea to be able to talk about the topic and raise awareness.”
So that’s exactly what they did! The team turned to social media and came up with a campaign, creating a safe space on Instagram where people could learn about mental health issues, and understand more about how they can deal with any problems they might face.
They split the jobs between each other - from filming, editing, research and posting on the channel. “I was in charge of contacting mental health charities to find out information about mental health and get a better understanding of what we were trying to promote,” said Courtney, who then went on to post statistics about young mental health, and descriptions of different types of mental health issues that people might be facing.
The team also posted inspiration and motivational quotes, and created short videos interviewing each other about mental health - and even included one of their team leaders to get an adult perspective, reminding people that mental health affects everyone, no matter your age!
Coming up with different ways to add content to their Instagram was something they had to think about too.
“We wanted to keep people engaged, so we did different things. On one of the days we did a long walk from Telford town centre to Ironbridge, which took all day! We used it to show that exercise is a way of improving your mental health, and to get more content for our social media, taking pictures, filming interviews and on the way and engaging with people online”
And even though the team struggled a bit to find people to interview as “we’d just come out of lockdown, so it was hard to meet up with other people”, they realised that actually, they worked well as a group and had a lot to say themselves!
“We were all very talkative and social people. There were two people in the group who were quite shy to begin with, but they opened up quite quickly and there was just a really nice energy between us all and a good atmosphere,” - which is especially useful when doing a project on mental health as being comfortable around people makes to easier to talk about what could be quite sensitive issues.
And the team were really proud of what they achieved. Not only did their account gain some traction and provide helpful resources for people online, it gave them a way to start discussions and break the ice with other people in real life.
For Courtney, working on this project was also really exciting. She said, “It made me feel more independent, and really showed that I was there because I wanted to do it.”
And her advice for anyone going on NCS this summer and coming up with their own social action project? Well that’s simple:
“I would say stay open minded and take things as they come. I was pleasantly surprised that we were allowed to choose something that we wanted to do. When I first turned up, I thought our team leaders would give us a topic and we’d just have to do that….so it was really cool to be able to come up with something we were passionate about and cared about and make it all happen ourselves!”
WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHERE YOU ARE?
Want to carry out some social action in your community but aren’t sure where to start? Take a look at a Changemaker group near you...
And if you’ve already taken part in a social action project that you’re proud of, let us know! Tell us all about it here.