Mentor have been working with the Interact group at Tokko Youth Space to produce a short film to raise awareness about new psychoactive substances. Interact is a group of 13-19 year olds who deliver social action projects locally, nationally and internationally. The project is youth-led by a board of young people including a President and Vice President who are voted for by their peers.
The project has increased engagement and participation in the Interact group as a result of the opportunity to work on the film project with Mentor, gaining six new members.
Young people in the group who have been personally affected by the consequences of new psychoactive substances have commented on the opportunity to raise awareness and the impact it has had on them as individuals: "Being part of the project at Tokko has made me feel more confident to talk to my peers about the dangers of being involved with new psychoactive substances."
The young people have had the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding not only around new psychoactive substances, but also around marketing and media which for many of them complements their further education courses.
Young people have commented on the value of engaging with a project which is multi-stranded in its approach to delivering informal education: "This project has supported me in my further education course in media, as well as raising my awareness of new psychoactive substances." They have also had the opportunity to develop professional relationships with practitioners from outside of Tokko Youth Space which lends itself to developing networking.
This Mentor/Tokko project is testimony to the impact collaborative working can have in creating change for young people. The project has been invaluable in offering a diverse opportunity for young people to experience and develop a range of skills under the umbrella of one project; the outcome will be increased awareness about the use of new psychoactive substances.
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