On the first day of the summer holidays, the winning team from James Hamilton Academy contacted Pauline to ask how they could get more involved with the charity. Pauline was amazed that the girls’ first thought after finishing their exams was how they could help her. The girls helped Pauline to create a promotional video to raise awareness of Beautiful Inside and Out and they’re now involved in the fundraising committee.
While receiving YPI grants has been valuable, Pauline says that raising awareness of the charity through YPI presentations is just as important. This has enabled other young people to access their support. Beautiful Inside and Out has been contacted several times by schools and parents after YPI finals because young people have had the confidence to ask for support after hearing their peers speaking about the charity. The charity now receives regular referrals directly from teachers because CAMHS (Children and Adults Mental Health Services) referrals can take many weeks or months to arrange.
Two days before Jenna died, she told her mum that she felt she no longer had a voice. Pauline believes that one of the greatest benefits of YPI is that it allows young people to say what matters to them.
She explains, “YPI allows young people to have a voice and say this is what matters to me, this is what is close to my heart and this is what I think is an issue amongst young people rather than teachers putting it on them or telling them what they need to learn. It’s a way for them to speak out and say this is a problem that adults may not know about.”
Pauline says that it is no exaggeration to say that Beautiful Inside and Out may have saved lives through their involvement in YPI.
“Each time a group of young people have chosen to try to win the YPI for their school based on Beautiful Inside and Out, at least one of the young people have contacted us separately explaining that they have either tried to take their own life, that they have struggled or that they know someone close who has. We have always managed to support the young people involved and they have been determined to raise awareness so that young people have a voice and know where to turn.”
“The YPI programme has enabled many groups of impressionable young people to carry out their own research and select a charity that is close to their hearts. These young people have raised awareness of the aims, achievements and services provided by Beautiful Inside & Out. They have potentially helped us to save lives, as their involvement in raising funds and making a charity video has led bereaved parents and siblings of suicide victims and people who have considered or attempted to end their own precious lives, to come to us for counselling, music therapy, play therapy and/or intensive group therapy.”