Mindbodyandsoul for Empowering young people.

My idea stems from the Ugandan community association of Liverpool but has been utilised by majority of african families in Merseyside.  It is something we have tried via community funded approach but will need support and continuity as the outcomes have been great.

The project mindbodyandsoul and soul needs to provide an african expression centre, a safe space to cover educational support for under performing BME children plus partnership working with NHS to provide mental health awareness sessions. 

Educational support to give better outcomes;

- Every Saturday 10;00am-13;00pm, all keystage UCAL students inclusive of other african background have been attending a community centre for revision in maths and English. This however is only for families that can afford £3per a session per asubject plus a packed meal. We have seen that this excludes large families and those from asylum seeker back ground whose parents are not in work.  By providing space and some funding towards this project, it becomes inclusive and allows all BME children at key stage level to have better chances of joining higher education.

- Mental health and well being in young people; project my roots for Empowering young minds

Agroup of BAME registered nurses in NHS organised a 3 days mental health awareness seminar at Allsaints church Liverpool.  This attracted over 60 children between 5-20yrs. Sessions also included cultural identity and growing up in the diaspora, hate crime and sessions of gang life style by Merseyside police. Children very well benefited from this as some even traveled from Manchester and other surrounding areas. Again parents had to contribute atleast £3 per a day to provide a meal as sessions run from 10;00am -4pm. This can be something beneficial to the community if run during half terms continuous through out the year. There is clear envidence linked between mental illness and offending behaviour.

Why the contribution is important

Education needs;


there is clear reports  on poor educationa outcomes in BAME communities related to poverty, mental illness and cultural intersection. In our community, our children struggle with doing well in school due to psychosocial problems at home but also English being their 2nd language. As a result they retain information at a different pace and have not had good outcomes educational wise. They are then attracted to offending behaviour and quick money activities. By providing a safe expression centre where they can have extract tutorial lessons, feel understood, this will improve acceptability and better educational outcomes in school. 

in terms of understanding mental illness; we come fro a community where mental illness if seen as a taboo, witchcraft or a curse. It is therefore not a topic for discussion at home. Depression is seen as a sign of weakness and postnatal problems seen as poor parenting. Although mental health services are available, people our our back ground do not access these services until very late. This gives poor out comes in terms of recovery. Needless to mention that many of our people go through the asylum process which is psychologically traumatising. It takes someone to understand the cultural intersection of BAME communities to support with mental health and well-being. By having an expression centre in Liverpool, this is again a safe space, where people can be supported by professionals of the same back ground to improve access to mental health services but also allow diversion of situations that could lead to criminal activities. Over 20 families paid towards the trial mental health awareness session that took place in half term Oct in partnership with Merseyside police and NHS.  This shows that the need is imperative. Between Liverpool and machester we have had 5 deaths to suicide between August/2020 and today.  

by Ugliverpool on November 16, 2020 at 01:26PM

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Average rating: 5.0
Based on: 5 votes


  • Posted by MerseysideVRP November 17, 2020 at 14:15

    Thank you very much for kick starting the dialogue. You have brought a really valuable contribution to the discussion here and I would be interested to hear what others have to say.

    As highlighted here, community education support and mental health support, delivered sensitively and through an understanding of the specific needs of people living in the community is important. This idea also mentions a potential links between educational outcomes and "offending behaviour".

    What do others think?

    If you agree, you show your support by rating using the star rating, or if you want to comment further, please do.
  • Posted by Benoloya November 20, 2020 at 14:29

    This is a brilliant idea, which can be delivered in partnership with the police.
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