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Successful second session for 'Boys of Steel' group!

1st August, 2019

One of the aims of the group is to create belonging and a sense of identity amongst the boys. They have decided to call the group “Boys of Steel” and they have even designed hoodies with the name on the back of them. The ten sessions will include work around recognising and expressing emotions and some work around sexuality, safe sex and healthy relationships, as well as discussing and challenging the group’s perceptions of what constitutes abusive behaviour, particularly within a relationship. Our second boys group session was held at Horizon Community College in the well-being department, with Marcus from the BRV project leading the session. The young people were all happy to see each other again and chatted amongst themselves whilst we set the room up. Marcus commenced the session by setting some ground rules and an outline of the work he will be completing with the boys. He focused on self-esteem and much of the session involved the young people thinking about their future self. Marcus gave each of the boys an outline of a male body and asked them to draw themselves as they imagine they will be when they are 21. All of the boys appeared quite reluctant and appeared a little embarrassed in regard to completing the activity, however, JL decided to draw a white overcoat on his figure, explaining his intention to train to become a doctor. JW decided to draw himself with a six-pack and muscular arms as his vision of his future self. Marcus then gave the young people several questions, all relating to how they imagine their lives will be like at 21, and encouraged each boy to ask the one sitting next to them a question and for the other boy to give their answers. Marcus asked WG to write the questions and answers on flipchart paper and the group discussed. All of the young people agreed in response to the question, “who will you live with?”, that they all would be living alone or with pets. When asked for more detail about this, the boys suggested that at 21 they would be too young to be living with anybody else. This led to a discussion regarding sexual health and consent which the group engaged well with. Marcus continued to encourage the boys to engage and ask questions. The group were a little reluctant at the beginning of the session, but as the discussions flowed, they appeared to become more comfortable giving their opinions and viewpoints. Towards the end of the session, M encouraged the boys to make paper aeroplanes and to have a competition to see whose would travel the furthest down the steps in the reception of the school. All the boys appeared to really enjoy taking part in this, GM, JL and WG were quite competitive and wanted to win. On the journey home, all the boys expressed that they had enjoyed the session and appeared enthusiastic about meeting up again in a couple of weeks for the next group. Overall a very productive and successful day had by all!

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