Book reveals youngsters' battles to overcome their problems

Sam EmanuelYoung people who have experienced abuse, broken homes, drug addiction and mental health problems have come together to write a book to show other young people how they have overcome a range of problems they have faced.Sam Emanuel

Young people who have experienced abuse, broken homes, drug addiction and mental health problems have come together to write a book to show other young people how they have overcome a range of problems they have faced.

Almost 40 youngsters aged between 13 and 19, who live in hostels around Norfolk, have written a book called Home Truths, which was launched this week and is being sent to schools across the eastern region.

The book also details experiences of bullying and bereavement, and discusses issues which can lead to homelessness, based on the young people's experiences.

It is currently being used and developed at Framingham Earl High School.


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The book involves teenagers from Red Balloon in Norwich, the Norwich Central YMCA and The Benjamin Foundation hostels in Yarmouth, Fakenham and North Walsham.

The project was funded by Mediabox, a charity that helps young people with media projects, and was managed by Media Projects East, a Norwich company which specialises in helping young people produce films, animations and books.

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Martin Sercombe, project director at Media Projects East, said: 'Many of the stories in Home Truths have positive outcomes and provide insights into the available support networks and the help they can provide.

'There is also a signpost section for any reader who might be facing similar problems and is looking for help or guidance. The project has been youth led from the initial idea to the printed book and media professionals provided the creative skills needed along the way.'

Matt Garrod, operational manager at The Benjamin Foundation, added: 'Many of our young people have underachieved in formal more traditional educational settings, so this project gave a diverse learning opportunity to our young people in a less formal format and setting. I am very impressed with the Home Truths work.'

Each story has been illustrated with drawings, photographs and paintings, and has given the young people a chance to develop their skills in those areas, as well as improving their confidence.

For more information or to order a copy, visit www.mediaprojectseast.co.uk/hometruths.htm.

Have you done something to help or engage young people? Call Sam Emanuel on 01603 772438 or email sam.emanuel@archant.co.uk.

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