Youngsters celebrate Newham's youth and health workers

Schoolchildren in Barking, Dagenham and Havering can take part in an anti-racism art and writing com

Young people in Newham have taken part in a project celebrating their relationships with the local authority's youth and health workers. - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Young people have been getting creative to celebrate their relationships with the borough's youth and health workers.

Twenty-one youngsters from Newham have made films, taken photographs and crafted stories to share their appreciation in a project named 21 In 21.

The title reflects the fact that 21 youngsters took part, creating 21 stories to be shared at a private, festival-themed event in 2021.

Forming part of Newham's Year of the Young Person, the scheme has been hailed by the town hall as another opportunity to put the borough's young people in the spotlight.

The project highlights the "magic" of people coming together, the link between "ordinary" children, "ordinary" practitioners and the things they do together that create "extraordinary" stories.

Project lead Ruth Cohen, who is quality assurance advisor at Newham Council’s children and young people’s services, explained: "21 In 21 has a dual purpose.

"Firstly, it represents the longevity of our services in Newham in supporting our children. We have always been here, and no matter what, we always will.

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"Secondly, the programme celebrates our children and the remarkable stories our practitioners have heard and experienced working with them."

This includes children accessing services from across Newham, including voluntary sector organisations, children’s health services, the youth empowerment service and the mental health service HeadStart.

A Newham spokesperson said the stories are both unremarkable in that children just received the services they are entitled to and remarkable as all involved have learned together how resilient children and families are.

One story tells of a young person living with a long-term health condition and how their school nurse supported them to flourish.

Another shares the story of a family struck by Covid-19 which, with the help of a health visitor, was referred to the support service #HelpNewham to get through those difficult times.

A third is of a young person avoiding school and how a connection with a practitioner helped get them back into education.

Ruth said: "It’s these pockets of moments in time that we are capturing and acknowledging.

"It’s a celebration of ordinary people, the links between them and their extraordinary outcomes."