Boys in Mind Conference Report July 9th 2019
Aims of the Conference
- To involve and engage as many children and young people as possible
- To explain our BiM vision, mission , values
- To show some new films
- To show impact on individuals and schools
- To get feedback on our website
- To explore various issues via discussion panels and audience discussions
- To consider next steps for Boys in Mind
120 people attended , of which 64 were male and 44 were children and young people . 11 of our 14 lead schools were represented . 19 young people were actively involved in presenting or as panel members on the day .10 young people had co-organised the conference with 4 adult team members. There was a range of headteachers, teachers, support staff , public health colleagues and those from voluntary agencies as well as 10 who attended as parents
Feedback from attendees has been overwhelmingly positive . Young people organisers liked the number and range of young people’s voices that were heard on the day ; they thought the organisation was smooth and the presentation was clear and well-paced ; they were impressed with the audience participation which was much greater than at the film launch in January . If a similar event is planned in the future they would consider maybe one less panel and an extra activity to engage primary children attending.
Adult attendees were really impressed with the young people’s leadership of the conference and involvement throughout ; they felt stimulated by the films and panel discussions and liked the opportunity to talk to other audience members and network ; they felt that the atmosphere in the conference was warm and lively . Suggestions for improvement were to be clearer about what Boys in Mind is and does ; to consider more activities for younger attendees ; to spend more time on next steps for BiM ; to have a parents’ panel.
BiM school leads report impact
Suggestions for next steps for Boys in Mind
Feedback from attendees was collated about website development , including ideas and themes for blogs, podcasts and helpful activities which could be promoted via the young people sections . Parents attending would like to see BiM working more with parents : our 2 parent engagement workers are writing a proposal to address this area and to look at the formation of a parents’ advisory group. There was a suggestion from schools that there could be student representatives from the different lead schools visiting each other’s schools to discuss progress and impact and share ideas . The final panel discussed next steps and some of the suggestions were : recruiting more young people to be involved ; looking at the impact of social media on boys and young men’s mental health ; developing more films and case studies ; further awareness-raising and using BiM as the vehicle to empower more boys and young men.
Generally , the organisers felt that they had succeeded in their conference aims and intended outcomes . They were very pleased with the feedback from a range of people attending and noted suggestions for improvement . The main thing they were pleased about was the empowerment of the young people taking part and how this could encourage other young people in the audience . They were also delighted that, probably for the first time at a conference in B&NES relating to mental health , more males than females attended – an unexpected but very welcome outcome .
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