Since embarking on our focus on mental health in young people – kickstarted by our production of Reflections in 2016 – we’ve seen so many young people grow out of their shells and themselves.

We’ve taught over 30 young people regularly for The M Word project; over 50 pupils across schools in Oxford; and over 100 young people over all our mental health related projects – from residencies at OCVC, to workshops in partnership with Oxfordshire Mind (and you can help us support them even more with Charity Fitness Friday!).

Emma-Jane has tirelessly worked with young people and given them a safe and fun environment to be creative, be themselves, and explore their mental health.

A space for the ‘freestyle freaks’ of Rose Hill and the ‘energetic everything’s-cools’ of Blackbird Leys to feel supported and affect them for the better.

And a little heart-warming story from our time at Wood Farm School so far is a true testament to the level of impact this project is having.

“I had a young girl [who can’t be named] in our Wood Farm group whose dad saw her video that we posted on Facebook,” says Emma-Jane. “She came in and was actually excited by the fact that her dad had never seen her dance and he shared it [the video] on his Facebook wall.

“I think that was quite a big moment for her to feel that her parents are proud of her. It’s just lovely to see. And I think because we do have the time, because the project is running over a year, you really do get that time to see those [gradual] differences in young people and go with them on their journeys. A

“As a teacher that’s really special and very unique.”

It’s a great feeling when activism affects real change.

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