A group of learners from Coleg y Cymoedd’s Aberdare Campus, Learner Voice have beaten off stiff competition from neighbouring colleges, to scoop the Enterprise Award at the NUS Wales Awards; for their work with the Learner Voice and Community Voice Project.
The college works closely with Eye to Eye Counselling Services, who offer support to children and young people up to the age of 25 years in the Rhondda Cynon Taf area; therefore when approached to produce a dvd, the learners were keen to get involved.
The Community Voice project involved college learners, pupils from Aberdare Community School, Eye to Eye Counselling Services and Spectacle Theatre producing a dvd highlighting mental health issues in young people.
The Cymoedd learners and members of the Anti- bullying Group from the Community School chose to focus on self –harming; which can be really hard to understand and is highly prevalent in Cynon Valley. A stark national figure of between one in twelve and one in fifteen young people self-harm.
Emma Allcock, Counsellor with Eye to Eye Services stated “This dvd will be shown in schools and colleges throughout RCT and we hope it raises awareness of causes of self -harm, how to recognise it and to reassure there is help available”
The production of the dvd has been entirely created by the young people for young people, from the storyboard to the filming; with them giving up hours of their free time to create the film.
Kim Sanders, Healthy Schools and Pupil Voice Co-ordinator at Aberdare Community School has been involved with the group and has seen the passion gone into the making of the dvd, she said “The young people involved with the Community Voice project have been so passionate about creating the film and I am confident that it will be well received enabling parents, carers, teachers and those involved with young people to recognise self -harm and to confidently signpost them to available support”.
The college learners will use the dvd as part of their presentation at their next competition, the National NUS Awards; which takes place in Liverpool, later this month. Cymoedd learner and Executive of the Aberdare Campus Learner Voice, Alice Reardon was thrilled with the success of the project and excited to proceed to the National Awards. She said “At the age of twenty-five, I have two amazing children who are my world, we live in and are part of such an amazing community which has a great deal of love and enthusiasm for the next generation! Working alongside the brilliant pupils at Aberdare Community School has opened my eyes even more as to how inspiring our little community is and it shows exactly how big our hearts are”.