Youth volunteer in distress prevented from returning to self-harm

The Wish Centre is a local charity that helps and supports young people who have been and are at risk of depression, self-harm, abuse, and exploitation. The trained and accredited psychotherapists work directly with young people aged between 12-25. They are understandably proud that they can help 90% of young people they see to stop self-harming. Harry Giving was able to award an emergency grant, which will directly benefit young people like Natasha.

When the pandemic hit, Natasha (18 years old), a youth volunteer at WISH who had been helped by the charity previously, recognised she was in distress and worried about returning to self-harm as a coping mechanism. As she had developed a safe and trusting relationship with Youth Support and Participation Worker (YSPW), she joined the Peer Support Group, Positive Changes, getting involved in weekly well- being and creative sessions as well as peer support. Towards the end of April, she referred herself for therapy at WISH.

Natasha became more open with the WISH YSPW, gaining more trust and checked in when she needed to talk. Writing some emotive poetry with The Synergy Theatre Group was helpful and cathartic to express how lockdown was impacting her. By doing this, she is continuing to make a lot of progress, building trust and opening up, and gaining confidence and self-belief. Additionally, Natasha recently worked on a funding bid for a micro-grant from London Youth with support from WISH and won £400 to run a self-care package project sent to all young people at WISH with self-harm distractions.

Harrow Giving is proud to help support the invaluable work of The WISH Centre.

Natasha expressed:

“I found volunteering to be really helpful; it’s given me something to focus my energy into rather than letting myself fall into a bit of a slump of doing nothing at all. It’s given me a routine, and Annie (WISH YSPW ) having something for me to do at least once a week so I know that I can try and be’ productive’, which makes me feel better in the long run.

Also, poetry was fun! It helped me explore my more creative side and express things in a way I didn’t use too much. Annie has been so supportive, from answering any of my 101 questions to helping me get back into therapy. It’s nice to know that there’s someone around who won’t judge me and will support me through the decisions I make.”

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