Virtual Bedminster Youth Club December 2020

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It’s Ok to be…

I’m so glad there is a trend towards allowing people to be what they want to be. There is a long long way to go, but I optimistically think we are heading in the right direction. The idea that you are allowed to be something, and that is OK is not an easy one to grasp. We have freedoms but we also have expectations and those of others, is what is considered ‘normal’. What a daft word that is. Are you normal? I’m certainly not! And I don’t want to be.

However, it’s easy to feel like an outsider. To feel overpowered by all of the things you are “supposed” to be doing, all of the ways you are “supposed” to be acting. People often struggle along thinking they are alone, when it definitely isn’t the case.

Lockdown(s) have made it harder to connect with people and just be. One of the best things about BYC was that YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING!

Parents would sometimes ask me “What is there to do here?”, and I’d reel off the activities and then point to the big settees on the stage and say “Or you can just sit there and do nothing”. It wasn’t always what they wanted to hear but it was important.

You didn’t have to be anything. You weren’t “supposed to” be doing or acting in a certain way. That space is important. Especially when our lives and schools and workplaces are so busy. Having a place and the space just to be, is what Youth Clubs are all about. Bedminster Youth Club was new, but I think we were starting to develop an identity and we have always allowed young people to be what they want to be, to help provide a place where people can unwind, relax and escape from the everyday worries. Now imagine that feeling but add in all our outdoor seating, fire pit, playground, tyre walk and you’ve got a winning formula. A safe BS3 space.

Click that link above and it’ll bring you to the excellent NHS resource to help look after your mental health. There’s a 5 question quick quiz on there that will help organise your Mind Plan — which will suggest different ways you can deal with stress, anxiety, lack of sleep etc…IT’S REALLY GOOD!

As is the section on “Self Care”. Which seems obvious, you know, looking after yourself. “Look after yourself”, “Stay Safe”, these are things people say all the time but they are actually very important. In this section there are plenty of ideas for how to take care of yourself. Seems obvious but not many of us a re good at it. Have a look, and see what you think,

Obviously we are still living in interesting times. One day another BIG story breaks. Lockdown is ending and Tier 3 is starting. It’s very easy to feel trapped in some kind of strange novel, where the weeks appear to be the same but something is not quite right, something is not normal.

Like Groundhog Day crossed with the Fitless Humans in Wall-E. And if you haven’t seen either of these films, then have a little look.

Plus, Wall E has some of the most heart wrenching, life affirming scenes of any CGI film ever. Just brilliant.

Happy memories of sneaking Wall E into geography lessons at every school I worked in. Well, it’s got all the themes going on — recycling, consumerism, energy, waste, robots. Grab a copy and I promise it will help with your Mind Plan.

Take care, stay safe,


Written by

Food Club support worker and Lead Youth Worker at Bedminster Youth Club.

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