Fixers, a national charity headquartered in Winchester that encourages young people to use their past to fix their future, has received a generous donation of £18,000 from the Barker-Mill Foundation (BMF). This will cover the cost of three projects which will highlight: male body dysmorphia, the effects of sexually inappropriate photographs and messages shared in schools, and the importance of mental and physical wellbeing for burns victims.
The projects will be run by the charity’s ‘Fixers’ – young people who have been previously socially disconnected and vulnerable, who are now courageously stepping forward to share their experiences to help themselves and others like them, to support positive change in young people’s lives and in their communities.
Male body dysmorphia is an increasing problem for young men who are feeling under pressure of self-scrutiny and developing an unhealthy obsession of body image. It is still not widely spoken about and this project will address the issue and encourage other young people experiencing body dysmorphia to speak out and seek help.
The second covers the sharing of indecent messages and photographs at school, or ‘sexting’, which is high on the agenda for the Hampshire Police Crime Commission. The aim of the project is to highlight how young people are unfairly criminalised by sexting and to warn them of the dangers.
The third project aims to support burns survivors, by encouraging them to be mindful of their mental health and wellbeing, while encouraging them to not let their scars define who they are and to move on with life.
Lucy Tatchell, Head of News and Media for Fixers adds: “With the expertise of our trained Young People’s coordinators, Fixers finds and engages hard-to-reach young people and gives them a platform to get their voices heard. As part of the process of their projects they create a resource to help communicate their message such as a film, booklet, poster, wristband or coffee cup sleeve for example.
“The generous donation from the BMF has enabled our latest ‘Fixers’ to run their projects in their local community. The project will enable them to engage with professionals such as the police and community leaders, to work around the issue they have addressed. In turn, this can lead to them working in collaboration with a view to changing local policy and practice.”
Tim Jobling, BMF Trustee, said: “There are so many issues and social problems that affect young people, some of which are not talked about or highlighted enough. It’s great that Fixers give young people a voice and a platform to talk about their experiences to help themselves and others move forward.
“We’re pleased to be able to support three local, young people’s projects by providing the funds to help their individual vision come to life, and we’re looking forward to seeing the finished projects.”
Lucy added: “The experience of working on a personal Fixer project has a transformative effect on people, who move from a position of isolation and disconnection to one of increased confidence and independence. In providing young people with a platform to voice and spread their message as well as forge important links with others in their communities, they are able to transcend their own negative experiences and use them to benefit others.”
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