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Healthwatch Dorset: Be Yourself, Everybody Else is Taken

A children and young people's project launched by Healthwatch Dorset in January 2016 to encourage 11-25 year olds across Dorset, Bournemouth & Poole to share their thoughts about health and wellbeing in a creative way.

Emilia Chase, children & young peoples officer with Healthwatch Dorset, explains, "You can write a poem, story, diary entry, blog or vlog. Create a film, a piece of drama, dance or send in photography or illustrations about your experiences. Be as creative as you want and we'll use all the entries to help us improve local health and care services."


The children & young people who've taken part in the project so far have shared powerful & moving accounts of their experiences of health and care. They include artwork from young carers, photography & poetry about emotional & physical health, blogs about autism & domestic violence and a vlog discussing what it's like to live with Tourette's Syndrome. In the video Summer interviews her 7 year old sister and raises awareness as to what it's like living with Tourette's.


Another one of the entries in the project came from Joely who talks about her life:


"I am 21 years old and I have a disability, a wonderful disability, my disability makes me different, unique, clever, caring, passionate, quirky, honest, hardworking, freaky and fun. I am far from what is considered normal, but I don’t care, being different is fabulous - there is nothing wrong with it, I would not change my disability for the world! You see my disability is my gift, my gift is Asperger’s Syndrome."


Healthwatch Dorset recently celebrated the project at Poole & Dorchester Hospitals during Dorset Art Weeks. Dr Alex Murdin, from the Arts in Hospital charity at Dorset County Hospital, said, "We are always keen to encourage the use of the arts for health and wellbeing. This creative feedback gathered by Healthwatch Dorset will help us work together to create better services for young people in the future.”


The Be Yourself project has also secured the backing of premier league football club AFC Bournemouth. The club has teamed up with Healthwatch Dorset to encourage more boys and young men to take part and provided Cherries Community Funding for promotional material. Chairman of AFC Bournemouth Jeff Mostyn, said: "It’s great to be able to see this money used for the benefit of the local community.


To find out more please contact Emilia at beyourself@healthwatchdorset.co.uk


For more information Call 0300 111 0102 or visit www.healthwatchdorset.co.uk or be inspired by the amazing entries received so far on the Healthwatch Dorset pinterest page. You can also visit Healthwatch Dorset on Twitter





Posted on 17 August 2016

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