Covid-19 has impacted us all in some way- whether you’re younger, older, surrounded by family and friends or living on your own- many of us have experienced a shift that may take some time to recover from. Through this shared experience, more people are talking about mental health and the importance of social connection in improving our mental wellbeing. That’s just one of the reasons why BCHA has formed its Young People’s Group- to bring young employees together.
The Young People’s Group started as an idea from Directors and has since expanded from the wishes and passions of young employees at BCHA. Laura, Director of Change, Transformation & Growth, said: “The value and impact that young people have had at BCHA over the past two years was so noticeable that we were encouraged to do more by signing up to the Youth Employment Charter. The idea of creating a space for our younger employees to come together was immediately picked up by them and they have made it in to something they felt they needed. It was a pleasure to coproduce in this way and I learnt a lot about the experiences that younger people in the workplace have had and continue to have in the new hybrid working environment. I'm truly excited to see how this group develops”.
At the first meeting, the young employees highlighted that we’d like the group to be a space for uplifting and supporting one another. With this in mind, the Young People’s Group now have a Teams channel and Whatsapp group, so we can connect with colleagues across the entire organisation including those working in customer-facing roles who may not use Teams as often or work during the day. This has given us a more informal space to get to know each other better!
Matilda, a member of BCHA’s Young People's Group says, “We often speak of life getting back to normal after Covid-19, but it can be difficult for young people like me to remember what life was like before this heightened sense of anxiety. Experiencing University and then remote working whilst we are in and out of lockdowns has been challenging and isolating, but the BCHA Young People’s Group gives me hope that despite working in so many different locations across the South West, young people at BCHA will come together to support and uplift each other. By creating a space just for us, I hope we can create meaningful friendships, inspire one another and share our opinions on what matters to us with the whole organisation. As we become agents of change- the possibilities are endless!”
One such idea that came from the initial meeting was for the Young People’s Group to drive change across BCHA relating to psychologically informed environments. As BCHA implements the practices of creating psychologically informed environments, the Young People’s Group would like to be part of this journey. We have only just started to discuss how we can make this a reality, but we are hoping that young employees across BCHA could work together as a team with customers to paint murals, create sensory corners and improve gardens across BCHA’s services to ultimately create safe, comforting spaces for all of our customers.
We have only just launched BCHA’s Young People’s Group, but we hope more and more of the young employees at BCHA will join us. To become part of the Teams group, the group chat or find out more details, please just email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any ideas on what you’d like the BCHA’s Young People’s Group to achieve we’d love to hear from you!