Young people from Gravesend have recorded a podcast talking to teenagers from Oxford about life being LGBTQI+ with some interviewees talking about their experiences as they go through a gender transition. The release of the podcast comes this week as body image is a key theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
The conversation is just one of the many podcasts the group, called Thrive, have recorded as part of a project for the Royal Opera House Bridge’s Annual national conference on education called The Thriving Child.
Thrive podcast was chosen to take part in the conference from more than 150 other applicants in the UK.
Their collective conversations focus on what it’s like to be a young person in 2019, taking in to account friends and family, mental health and coping with the world, school and bullying, social media and acceptance.
The Thrive podcast group are part of the Gifted Young Generation (GYG) project based at The Grand in the town centre.
Podcaster Princess Higgawe, aged 18, who interviewed the young people from Oxford said, “It’s so important that young people’s voices are heard and taken notice of. The pressures many young people face, are wide ranging and can be damaging to futures. Our podcast for the Opera House is trying to find out what young people need, what’s going well in their lives and what the challenges are.
“We’ve been lucky enough to talk to lots of people from across the country and hear about their lives. There are some key themes that we can all relate to – especially social media and bullying, but we’ve also had our eyes opened to other people’s lives and their challenges.
“The people we spoke to in Oxford were willing to talk openly about their lives as they transition gender. How it feels, how the people around them have either supported them or rejected them and the impact that’s made. It’s an open, honest and frank conversation and something we’ve enjoyed greatly.”
Positive Mental Health and the support available for young people was also a hot topic this week and has been a topic which has been discussed over the past months of the recordings.
Other conversations have included talking to young people from London who are involved in projects with A New Direction and young people from Curious Minds, based in Preston in the north of England who talked passionately about social media and the difficulty many young disabled people have finding work.
The four teens will be presenting their findings on stage at The Royal Opera House in London in June and hosting a debate with the audience which will be made up of adults from across the UK who work in the arts and education. They aim to influence the way youth and arts organisations work with young people and to represent young people views from across the country.
The Thriving Child conference takes place on 28 June at The Royal Opera House in London.