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Barnsley's Boy Group Take Part in the BRV

25th June, 2019

Capstone (North) held the first ‘Boys Group’ session in Barnsley with the help of the BRV project. The BRV (Belonging, Resilience, Vocabulary) Project works with a group of young men and boys in Barnsley to help them achieve a sense of belonging, resilience and improved understanding of themselves. The project is a 12-week programme, over 2-hour weekly sessions and it seeks to address inequality and disadvantages by utilising new learning in context with a growing sense of self-worth and resilience. Enabling boys to become the owners of their emotions and advocates for their own lives. Through group workshops, art and photography sessions, the boys and young men will explore and enrich their emotional intelligence. 5 of our young people attended their first session at the Toby Carvery, Rotherham. The initial meeting focused on enabling the young people participating to get to know each other a little better and to introduce Marcus from the BRV Project. By introducing Marcus during the first session it allowed him to discuss the work that was involved with the young people and give the boys participating in the group a choice of what they would like the sessions to include and some say in how it is delivered. Some of the young people participating had already met each other at various social activities etc., but for others, it was their first time meeting others and were understandably a little unsure and nervous. Some of the boys were quite energetic and animated, talking freely with all the participants and staff. A few were a little more reserved and did not particularly initiate a conversation at first. The group of five boys were quite keen to go and get something to eat and drink and were quite happy to go up to the Carvery as a group and chatted amongst themselves. Once back at the table, the conversation appeared to flow quite easily amongst the young people. Marcus explained more about his role as part of the BRV project and suggested different ways that the group could participate in the work that he delivers and different activities that they might like to get involved in. The group agreed that they would like to do creative activities, such as artwork, photography and creative writing. Marcus, Alison, social worker and Deborah the support worker for Barnsley facilitated the discussion and asked opinions of the young people to try and seek a common identity amongst the group. Marcus asked the group what they felt was the most difficult about being a teenage boy. C answered readily, “coming out to your family and friends as gay and dealing with people’s attitudes around it”. Marcus reassured him that sexuality is a very important part of identity and he would be looking at relationships and what it means. Marcus explained more about the different opportunities that he would like to get the group involved in such as activity days in the Peak District. Towards the end of the meal, the group were chatting animatedly, appearing to be getting on reasonably well and all appeared enthusiastic to carry on with the lad’s group. We’re looking forward to the next time the group meets up.

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