So far setting up Let’s Talk has been an exciting and fun journey. It’s been wonderful (and quite emotional) to have such amazing support from young people and professionals who believe in what we are doing. I particularly want to give a massive shout-out to two local young men who have offered to do some fundraising for us.
We were very lucky and privileged that Angie Hotchkiss agreed to become our first Voluntary Director. She brings fantastic skills, experience, and a passion for giving young people the best support possible.
Work with us
We are looking for our second Voluntary Director and it’s important to us to have diversity on our board of Directors so we have signed up for the Equality Action Pledge.
We particularly welcome applications from;
- people of colour
- care experienced people
- who have a lived experience of sexual or mental health services.
If you would be interested in applying, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want our service to be open and transparent so you can read our director’s meeting minutes.
What do young people want?
Before starting any work, we carried out some research to ask local young people and professionals which services we should offer. Over 246 young people and professionals helped us by giving their ideas and sharing their views – we were blown away!!
Doing things right
We have focused on all the elements of starting up a new service – we believe in doing high-quality work so we focused on completing all the legal forms, signing up for the Living Wage initiative, getting insurance in place, developing clear policies and guidance to ensure safe practice and working on our business plan.
We’ve been developing a range of volunteer opportunities and paid employment opportunities for young people.
Getting connected and informed
We’ve been attending training and events to make sure we are connected and informed. We took time to think about the values and ways of working that we believe are important when supporting young people with their sexual, emotional and mental health. For us, it is extremely important that everyone on our team works by the values we set.
At our first Director’s meeting, we agreed that we want to offer support to young people when they need it. We know that young people can find it really difficult when they reach out for help but then get stuck on a waiting list, or are told they aren’t ill enough.
We really believe (based on the evidence around the impact of trauma) that talking therapies aren’t the only thing that can help and that offering a wider range of more trauma-responsive services will be more effective at supporting those young people who have experienced early adversity, disrupted attachment or developmental trauma.
We hope to create a learning community at Let’s Talk and we’ll share our approaches and our learning.Let’s Talk (Young People)
You can sign up to our email list below to hear more about our work as this develops and hope to be involved.
Keeping our ear to the ground with the Young People’s Advisory Committee
We are a Community Interest Company so it is vital that we benefit our local young people. Each year we will produce and share with you a report of all the community benefits we have achieved for our young people.
We are setting up a Young People’s Advisory Group to help us make sure young people are at the heart of what we do. If you know any young people who:
- want to share their views,
- may have lived experience of difficulties,
- want to make a difference for other young people, want to learn about governance and add something important to their CV,
- want to develop their skills and confidence.
We have signed up to relevant networks and have been meeting partners from across all sectors. We aim to do everything in partnership, and it’s made us so happy to have so much interest from those who want to work with us. We’ve been meeting with local schools and collecting feedback about what they feel young people need at this time.
Support in the time of Covid 19
They have reported that both staff and students are experiencing a sense of overwhelm and anxiety as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 has interrupted our routines, left us feeling isolated and anxious and has made us feel a bit disconnected. School staff have worked tirelessly but many reports feeling exhausted from constant adaptation and the increased mental health difficulties they see in the young people they support. I continue to be absolutely inspired by our education partners who work so hard.
Our New Home
We are very excited to let you know that in January we moved into an amazing, newly refurbished building which is set in the heart of Craigmillar. We have been so supported by our fantastic Landlords (Places for People) who really care about local people and the community.
We have lots of exciting plans for our new space and were dancing for joy to be awarded a grant of £9,494 from The National Lottery Community a fund to help us create a trauma-responsive environment there and we have been collecting feedback from young people about what they think would give our building the sense of safety they want – thanks to all of those young people who took part in sharing their views with us.
We have been working with an incredible local interior designer and have developed design placements to involve students from Napier University. Keep an eye on our social media to see our progress.