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YMCA Birmingham supports new body confidence school toolkit

Research shows almost a third of 11 to 16 year old’s isolate themselves because of body image anxiety

YMCA Birmingham is supporting a new body confidence campaign toolkit for schools that teaches young people about feeling comfortable with their bodies, as new research reveals almost a third of secondary school pupils (30%) isolate themselves from activities due to body image anxiety.

Somebody Like Me, a national research report launched today by the Be Real Campaign for body confidence, has revealed the scale and damaging impact that low body confidence is having on young people’s lives.

Researchers spoke to more than 2,000 secondary school pupils aged 11 to 16 years old and found that more than half (52%) regularly worried about how they look while nearly two thirds (63%) said what others think of their looks is important to them. In addition, 36% were willing to do ‘whatever it takes to look good’.

The report also highlights the vital part schools have to play in tackling body image anxiety, as three quarters of young people (76%) who learned about body confidence as part of their curriculum said it made them feel more positive about themselves. However, despite this, less than half of young people surveyed (48%) said they had learned about the issue in the classroom.

 

Body Confidence Campaign Toolkit for Schools

On the back of today’s findings, the Be Real Campaign, founded by YMCA and Dove [2], has launched a new Body Confidence Campaign Toolkit for Schools. Available to download for all secondary schools across the country, the pack provides lesson guidance, advice and materials to help teachers educate their pupils about body image.

YMCA Birmingham which works with hundreds of children and young people every year, is urging local schools to get behind the Be Real Campaign and use the toolkit to help young people tackle body image anxiety.

 

Alan Fraser, YMCA Birmingham Chief Executive, said:

“The research released today shows how harmful body image anxiety can be for secondary school pupils as young as 11 years old.

“Young people tell us that they face increasing pressures to conform to the unrealistic beauty standards they see in the media and through celebrity culture.

“Evidence shows that schools are uniquely placed to support young people to hold positive discussions around body image with their peers and help reduce the negative impact low body confidence can have. We urge all local schools to help young people be confident with their bodies and build their self-esteem by using the toolkit so they grow into healthy adults.”

 

Other key findings from the Be Real Campaign’s Somebody Like Me research include:

  • Four in five young people surveyed (79%) said that how they look is important to them
  • Almost three in five respondents (57%) have or would consider going on a diet to change the way they look
  • One in 10 (10%) would consider having cosmetic surgery to change the way they look
  • Almost a fifth of teachers (18%) surveyed said they did not feel confident talking about body confidence with their pupils.

The Body Confidence Campaign Toolkit for Schools follows on from the Body Image Pledge, released in November 2016, that asked fashion, media, music and advertising industries to ‘Be Real’ in their use of images.

Meanwhile, head teachers have backed the importance of teaching body confidence in school.

Annette Turner, Head Teacher at Southend YMCA’s Community Free School, said: “The Be Real Campaign has shown body image anxiety to be a very real issue among young people that negatively impacts on both academic performance and general wellbeing.

“The toolkit released today will allow us to tackle this problem head on with a whole-school approach that opens up discussions around body image in the classroom and also encourages young people to start conversations among their peers.

“We are committed to becoming a Be Real School in which young people have a platform to talk about body image concerns so they can feel more confident in their bodies and better able to lead healthier, happier lives.”

Schools can download a copy of the toolkit at www.berealcampaign.co.uk/schools/

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YMCA Birmingham is named ‘runner up’ at national youth charity awards

ymca-birmingham

YMCA Birmingham has been named runner up at a prestigious national youth charity awards after reaching this year’s glittering finals.

The organisation was up for the YMCA of the Year gong against two other YMCA charities at the annual YMCA Youth Matters Awards held at the exclusive central London venue, 8 Northumberland Avenue on 4 November and hosted by TV presenter June Sarpong MBE. FIND OUT MORE


Mental health stigma is stopping young people asking for help

ed-sheeran-example-social-media-imageEd Sheeran, showing his support for #IAMWHOLE campaign launched today by NHS and YMCA

YMCA Birmingham supports major research findings out today for NHS and YMCA anti-stigma campaign, fronted by Jordan Stephens (Rizzle Kicks) FIND OUT MORE


Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, visits YMCA Birmingham

marcus                                  Marcus Jones MP, with resident Chanelle Peart and YMCA CEO Alan Fraser

 

Marcus Jones MP – Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) has visited YMCA Birmingham’s flagship accommodation scheme, The Chris Bryant Centre in Erdington. The Minister who is responsible for local government policy including adult social care and tackling homelessness met with YMCA staff and residents to talk about their shared vision. FIND OUT MORE


YMCA Birmingham calls on community to give them their vote ahead of prestigious national youth awards ceremony

Princess Anne with Alan Fraser CEO YMCA BirminghamThe Princess Royal and CEO Alan Fraser at opening ceremony of The Chris Bryant Centre May 2016

YMCA Birmingham is asking local people to give them their backing ahead of a prestigious national youth awards ceremony hosted this autumn by TV presenter, June Sarpong MBE. FIND OUT MORE


YMCA BIRMINGHAM WINS BEST SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AWARD AT THIS YEARS MIDLANDS RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY AWARDS

sustainable housing

We’re excited to announce that YMCA Birmingham received an award win for our newest development The Vineyard and Chris Bryant Centre at this year’s Midlands Residential Property Awards.

The complex was officially opened earlier this year by The Princess Royal in May, who commented on what a great achievement the end of this project is for not only its service users but also the local community.

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Thread, Needle and Life Skills

Residents have been enjoying making fabric bags and cushion covers at our Thread, Needles and Life Skills sessions at The Orchard – all in 1 hour! FIND OUT MORE


Princess Royal opens YMCA Birmingham’s new multi-million pound development in Erdington

YMCA Birmingham’s flagship development in Erdington was officially opened by The Princess Royal on May 18th 2016.

The multi-million pound project, which has been ten years in the making, comprises four separate elements. FIND OUT MORE


YMCA Birmingham appoints four new volunteer Chaplains

The new recruits will work part time for us, taking time out of their existing jobs to act as a listening ear for residents and service users.
The chaplains will work alongside full time YMCA Birmingham Christian Spiritual Development Coordinator, Rotimi Benjamin. FIND OUT MORE


National Apprenticeship Day 2016

We celebrated National Apprenticeship Week 2016 by hosting an Open Day at The Orchard on Friday 18th March in partnership with Erdington Job Centre.

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