We asked young people who participated in The Bottle Project to create a profile of a young person facing challenges and what they might take away from the programme. They thought about who that young person might be, what challenges they might face, what positive things they have in their life, whether they are exposed to problematic substance use and how the project could help them. They created Billy.
Who is Billy? He likes skateboarding, playing guitar and spending time with his friends. He studies electrical engineering at college and hopes to one day move to the city and have a family of his own.
The group then created some life challenges for Billy that were relatable for young people. Billy’s home-life has become unhappy since his father left home, and he thinks that smoking weed helps him forget about his problems. College isn’t very interesting for Billy, and he finds hanging out with his friends more fun than going to classes.
The group then put together a profile of positive things in Billy’s life.
The group created a narrative of Billy’s life that included him beginning to participate in The Bottle Project programme. Since Billy has been in trouble with the police he has a care plan in place, and a social worker checks in on him every week. He hasn’t been able to skateboard since he broke his collarbone and is also missing out on playing guitar and nights out with friends. Billy spends some time at a youth centre, where a youth worker tells him he might want to join a group to train with other young people like him to become a peer educator. Billy remembers a session he went to run by other teens about being aware of the risks around alcohol and other drugs. He decides to give it a go, mainly because there is free pizza.
What does Billy get out of the project?
The group then reflected on how Billy’s life might become different after completing the training, or what outcomes he might now be working towards as a result.