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NCS graduates raise awareness of mental health for action day 2018

This year for NCS Action Day, our graduates across the country had a united goal: planning community activities that brought more awareness of an issue close to their heart - mental health support.

21 March 2018

Catch22 is proud to deliver National Citizen Service (NCS), a programme that empowers young people to be change-makers in their communities. NCS engages young people in social action in their communities and teaches them to take pride in their area and celebrate its successes.

In 2016, 80% of our young people that took part in hands on community work stated that they felt “inspired that I can make an impact on my community now and in future.”

We work with our graduates to build upon their 4-week NCS experiences, develop new ideas and explore existing opportunities to help them become lifelong active citizens. 18th March 2018 was NCS Action Day, a day for the graduates to bring social change to their communities. Our graduates across the country, celebrated by identifying a challenge in their local area – mental health – and coming up with their own solutions. NCS graduates from a few of the regions we work in told us about their Action Day projects:


The Catch22 Shropshire Youth Board


Much Wenlock Priory Hall was used as a hub for local people to come and talk openly about mental health. Tea, coffee and cake was on offer for a donation, there was a tombola and raffle sale, and all funds went directly to Shropshire Mind.


The young people used information provided by Shropshire Mind to raise awareness, BBC Radio Shropshire also put an announcement out to support the event. Our Youth Board took time to speak to the local people about mental health and supported them with filling out a card which mentions people they know of that suffer with mental health.The local people in Much Wenlock were so keen to support our efforts and such an important cause.

Photo of five people standing with balloons and a poster about mental health awareness

Becky, a graduate in our Shropshire NCS Youth Board said:

‘Mental Health is something EVERYONE has and we are so happy that we could help and educate those in our community on why it’s so important that everyone knows about their mental health and can access help and support!’


The Catch22 Herefordshire Youth Board


A safe space for young people aged 14-16 years to connect with others their age, have fun and take part in workshops which improve well-being, on the 7th April at No Wrong Door Hereford, in partnership with the CLD Trust-SYM Project


There will be refreshments, hot topic debates, hip hop yoga, arts and crafts, live music and a talk with Strong Young Minds. The High Sheriff will be coming to see all of the hard work our young people have put in.

Photo of five NCS grads holding flyers about mental health

Patricia from CLD Trust-SYM said:

‘This event will inspire and encourage the community to talk about mental health while connecting with others by doing a variety of activities designed to benefit all aspects of young people’s well-being.’

Will from No Wrong Door said:

‘No Wrong Door are pleased to support the Catch22 NCS Youth Board with this project. It will not only help break down the stigma of mental health issues and allow young people to discuss these issues in a safe environment but also it will raise the awareness of young peoples need to access ongoing support especially through the collaboration of the NWD partnership.’

A NCS Herefordshire graduate said:

‘I think the project is beneficial to all young people who struggle with emotional well-being. I know that, as a young person myself, having a project that reduces stigma around mental health, is not only a major comfort but helps me feel more confident in myself.’


The Catch22 Eastbourne Youth Board


To help students think differently about mental health, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders and self-harm at different stages of life, we held a stall at Sussex Downs College in Eastbourne.


We encouraged young people to write a pledge to support mental health awareness. We had posters, post cards and conversations starter sheets that we gave out to help give people more of an understanding of how to support friends and family with their mental health. We had many people who came checked out the stall and it was a great day working with people to pledge to challenge the stigma on mental health.


Mental health awareness flyers on a pin board  Mental health awareness flyers on a pin board


The Catch22 Newcastle Upon Tyne Youth Board


Our graduates put together an NCS Action Day which is being used as a spring board to launch a bigger programme, where they plan to go into schools and speak to teachers regarding mental health.


The graduates went door to door to post leaflets in their local area raising awareness on mental health. We recruited some supporters along the way, told them about NCS and what we we’re doing to break down stigmas and then asked them to take a photo with our #letstalkmentalhealth pledge.

Image of a woman holding a sign with the hashtag #letstalkmentalhealth Image of a woman holding a sign with the hashtag #letstalkmentalhealth Image of a woman holding a sign with the hashtag #letstalkmentalhealth Image of a woman holding a sign with the hashtag #letstalkmentalhealth

Graduates also took to social media to post pictures with #letstalkmentalhealth #ncsactionday #ncsnortheast #catch22ncs to spread to the word. This is only the beginning for our graduates programme, and we look forward to seeing its progress!

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