Archive for the ‘Young people’ Category


June 23, 2010

What is there to say? 

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Young Brits at Art

June 19, 2010

and now for something completely different – with thanks to the Equality and Human Rights website…

The final 100 shortlist in the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Young Brits at Art awards paints a telling picture of what young people think ‘a world without prejudice’ would look like. Unity, freedom and body image dominate the shortlisted artworks of the 11 to 19 year olds.


Equality and Human Rights Commission


What would the world look like if we lived without prejudice? We asked you to show us.!v=mao8FdVMaKU

Freedom of expression is a common theme; freedom to choose one’s own religion, freedom to express one’s sexuality but most importantly, freedom to be who you are. Essentially the budding young artists see a world without prejudice as a world where people are bound by their similarities and celebrated for their differences.

The shortlist was whittled down from a record 1,700 youngsters who entered the award, which challenged them to ‘imagine a world without prejudice’.

Entrants were given the opportunity to express their ideas on prejudice and equality using various art media including but not limited to digital animation, sculpture, film and more traditional forms such as print and oil painting.

Neil Kinghan, Director General of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said;

“Young people too often get a bad press.  We sometimes forget the great array of talent in our schools and youth clubs and the contribution which the vast majority of young people make towards making our society more tolerant. Young Brits at Art gives them an opportunity to have those talents recognised; and if we happen to unearth the next Oliver Payne it would be a fantastic bonus.”

Ten overall winners will be selected from the shortlist of 100 and revealed at an awards ceremony on 22 June. A judging panel, consisting of several prominent arts figures and equality champions, will select the winners with all 100 shortlisted pieces displayed at the awards ceremony at the Southbank Centre.

For the ten winners, a month of being an exhibited artist is in store. The Saatchi Gallery, one of the most celebrated art venues in the country, will exhibit the ten winning artworks for the whole of July.

Smiling, not flattened, toad….

June 7, 2010

Toad in the road

 Not often you find a ‘not flattened’ toad in the middle of a busy A road – but Cleopatra managed it.    In fact, the greater danger was to her rescuer!   The honour was not mine.

Male Anorexia

December 10, 2008

The following is from Teens First for Health by Great Ormond Street Hospital.  To reach the site for the article and other information click this link:

Male Anorexia

Eating disorders affect more girls than boys, but boys get them too. Sixteen-year-old Mark James* spoke to Anna Bailey about his battle with anorexia.

“I first noticed that I had a problem with food when I become obsessed with a diet I was on. Throughout my teens I had always been overweight so when I hit 16 stone I went on a strict diet and started exercising. But the more weight I started to lose the more compliments I would get and the more weight I wanted to shed. In the end it became a destructive cycle.


The crux came at Christmas time. I had lost around six stone in three months. But rather than tucking into all the Christmas trimmings I ate very little because I still thought I looked very fat. At just ten stone my family obviously knew this wasn’t the case and were slightly concerned I had lost weight too quickly. They then suggested I go and see a doctor.


The first doctor I went to see wasn’t very helpful. I was told that boys don’t get anorexia and my eating habits were put down to depression. The leaflets I was given to read were also targeted towards girls. I felt extremely isolated and wondered if I was the only boy in the world who felt they had an eating disorder. Eventually I found a psychiatrist who confirmed what I had been thinking. It was a relief to know that there was something wrong and someone was taking me seriously.

Rock bottom

My anorexia actually got worse before I started to get better. It was all I could think about during the day and I started to calorie count. I wouldn’t eat any food over 100 calories and I cut out all meat, crisps, chocolates, nuts and cakes. At my lowest point I was only having a bowl of cereal in the morning.  This had a huge impact on my energy levels at school and I was falling asleep by eight o’clock at night. But at that point I didn’t care; I was willing to take the risk with my health as long as I wasn’t gaining any weight. My friends thought I was just going through a ‘MK’ (Mary Kate Olsen) diet faze to look cool and would tease me for being too thin, but inside I was very unhappy and ill. Every time I would go to eat I felt so guilty that I would instantly exercise off the weight or make myself sick. I couldn’t help myself; it was that overpowering.


Eventually the weight loss took its toll on my heart. I started to get sharp pains and I plummeted to six stone. At this point I was just a couple of days off from being hospitalised and coming near to death. When the doctor told me this it was a real wake up call and I knew that I had to do something about it.


In order to get better I started to try and eat a bit more. So instead of eating one bowl of cereal a day I would have two. I also stopped exercising so much and tried to do activities like drama to raise my self-esteem. Through doing new things I meet new friends who have supported me.


I am slowly getting better now and overcoming my anorexia one day at a time.

I don’t know whether I will fully get over it but at least I know now that I am not a freak and that there are people around to help me. I am now an Ambassador for the Eating Disorders Association and it’s great to meet people like me who are getting better. I also wanted to help other boys who might be going through the same experiences as me but don’t know where to turn to. It makes me really mad seeing stick thin images of anorexics in the press because you don’t need to be really thin to have anorexia. You can look fit and muscly but still think in an anorexic way. There isn’t a label or image that fits all and that’s why the disease is so deceptive.

Top tips

My advice to anyone who thinks that they may have anorexia or an eating disorder is to ask for help. Either speak to a friend, your family or the doctor but don’t leave it too late because it can get worse. It’s better to take control before the disorder takes control of your life.

*The real name of this individual has been changed to protect his identity.

infoFor more help and information

For more help and information about eating disorders please contact beat.

BEAT – Young People’s Forum

December 9, 2008

Many young people have joined our forum. Young people have told us that they find it difficult being heard. We hope the forum will give them the opportunity to tell others how they feel and really be listened to.

Want to find out more?   Follow this link:

My Eating Disorders….

December 9, 2008

….is a  website is put together by a group of young women with eating disorders.  Each post is reflective of a constant struggle with body image and self esteem.  This blog also contains informational posts.

If you want to look at it, follow this link:

Boys get anorexia too.

December 9, 2008

For information provided by a family with direct experience click on the following link:

Men ‘unhappy’ with their bodies…….

December 9, 2008

The following article is provided by the BBC and relates to the programme  Manorexia which was shown on BBC2 on Saturday 13 September, at 13.45pm.   You may be able to get a repeat on IPlayer.   ED in boys and men is often ‘not seen’ as families are often unaware and don’t ‘look’ for it. 

By AnthonyBaxter.   Revealed Presenter.

One of Britain’s leading eating disorder experts says as many as one in five young men are deeply unhappy with their body image.

Dr John Morgan said that for every man with an eating disorder there were 10 more who desperately wanted to change the way they looked.   “One in five young men have some degree of quite extreme distress,” he said.  Dr Morgan said he had also seen a big rise in the number of men with anorexia and bulimia.  Dr Morgan, who runs the Yorkshire Centre for Eating Disorders in Leeds, told the BBC’s news programme for teenagers, Revealed, that men who were unhappy with their bodies would like to change them.

Eating disorder

While the official estimate for the number of men with an eating disorder stands at around 10-15% of all sufferers, the real figure is much higher.   “We know that 1 in 20 young people suffer from some degree of disordered eating and that at least 15% of them are men and yet that’s a tip of an iceberg,” he said.   “There are men who have problems with compulsive exercise and excessive bodybuilding who have an illness, but we haven’t defined them. Our definitions of illness have been focused on women, rather than men.” 

In 2000, a report for the Eating Disorder Association found that not enough was being done to help care for men with eating disorders.   Eight years on Dr Morgan says the situation is now worse.   “When the report was written there were some units that had dedicated expertise in male eating disorders. A couple of these have now closed down,” he explained.   “There’s a lack of funding, a lack of interest. You’re dealing with a situation where you’re trying to develop a national service for men across the country, but the Health Service is now more focused on the local.”
Seriously ill

At 13, George became seriously ill with anorexia. He says initially doctors didn’t spot the problem.   He said: “The diagnosis is very vague, especially in boys. It’s not something that someone would presume was the case.  “I was tested for cancer, Aids, gluten allergies, and all various things like that, which really, I knew deep down, were completely irrelevant.”  George was eventually admitted to a clinic where he was told he had just four weeks to live. His body had started to eat its own muscles and organs to survive. 

“Anorexia dictates everything you do,” George said.  “Everything that your healthy mind says is right, ‘You can eat this, it wont make you fat at all, in fact, it’s completely healthy, it’s what normal people do’.  “But then anorexia would jump in straight off and be like – ‘What are you doing, this is terrible. You’re driven by an evil, deceiving affliction that’s not good, it’s really wrong’.”Dr John Morgan said he believes images of male beauty in the media are part of the problem, and that there’s now just as much pressure on young men to look slim as there is on women.   “The ideal male body image has changed into quite an unhealthy shape,” he admitted.

Huge pressures

In the past blokes have been comfortable with beer bellies. Now, men and boys are under huge pressures to look good.”   He explains that while the slim but muscular look, a six-pack, big arms, and a slim waist, has become the cultural ‘norm’, it’s not a naturally obtainable figure.  Dr Morgan added: “It’s completely unhealthy, and to achieve that sort of shape you’ve got to be either working out for hours in a gym, making yourself sick, or taking certain kinds of illegal drugs.”

While it’s often actors, models and celebrities who are blamed for putting pressure on the rest of us to look slim, it seems stars are under an equally intensifying amount of pressure.

Marcus O’Donovan is an actor who’s been in Holby City and the recent Narnia film, Prince Caspian.  He said getting in shape for a role and enjoying a normal life is very difficult.  “The pressure is increasing on everyone to look better and better and better,” Marcus said.  “I like to eat, it’s that simple, I love my food, and I do find that I’m quite worried. I have to watch what I eat and make sure that I train. It’s quite difficult to balance that and a really happy lifestyle.”

The Eating Disorder Charity, BEAT says that since May this year, it’s seen a huge increase in the number of men coming forward and asking for help.  The charity says it thinks high profiled cases of eating disorders, like John Prescott’s battle with bulimia, encourages more men to seek help.

Revealed… Manorexia is on BBC2 on Saturday 13 September, at 13.45pm.

If you’re worried about any of the issues raised in this report and want to talk to someone about it you can call the BBC’s Action Line on 0800 110 100 which is free from UK landlines.





Published: 2008/09/12 06:32:23 GMT



Teenagers experiencing violence when dating.

December 7, 2008

Women’s Aid launches new teen domestic violence statistics with Bliss magazine
Wed, 3rd Dec 08

National domestic violence charity Women’s Aid has launched new teenage domestic violence statistics with Bliss magazine as part of their Expect Respect campaign. The statistics, which launch in the January edition of the magazine, show that approximately 1 in 5 Bliss readers have been physically hurt by someone they were dating – and for sixteen year old girls, this goes up to 1 in 4. The survey, which was live on the Bliss magazine website in September, also showed that nearly a quarter of fourteen year old girls have been forced to have sex or do something else sexual they didn’t want to do by someone they were dating.

Women’s Aid Chief Executive, Nicola Harwin CBE said:

“Although we know that 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence, it is still shocking to find out that this statistic applies equally to teenage girls in their very first relationships. It is also worrying that our survey showed that the older girls are, the more likely they are to accept being bullied and controlled, whereas they are less likely to confide in parents and ask for help. Whether it is physical violence, forced sex, or emotional abuse, this abuse is never justified. Women’s Aid is working to prevent abuse in the future by working with Bliss magazine to publicise our new resources for young people, parents and teachers, and to send out the message that we should all Expect Respect in our relationships.”

Leslie Sinoway, Editor of Bliss said:

“Bliss magazine and are delighted to be in partnership with Women’s Aid for the excellent Expect Respect campaign. As a brand, Bliss has always been committed to equipping teen girls with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to ensure that they go on to have happy, healthy relationships. We hope this campaign will help educate young girls in what is, and what is not, acceptable behaviour from a partner.”

The Expect Respect campaign has been running since September when it launched on The Hideout website for young people affected by domestic violence, supported by Hollyoaks actors Ashley Slanina-Davies and Kieron Richardson, who play Amy and Ste in the Channel 4 programme. The campaign asks young people to both Expect Respect and give respect in their relationships and aims to work with teenagers now to reduce the amount of domestic violence experienced in the future.

Ashley Slanina-Davies said: “Domestic abuse takes many forms, it can be physical, sexual or mental. In Hollyoaks, my character Amy faced this in her relationship with Ste and I know from this storyline why it can be difficult to leave an abusive relationship. If domestic violence is affecting your life in any way, you can go to for support and information. The important thing to remember is that there is always someone willing to listen so don’t suffer in silence.”

Kieron Richardson said: “Domestic violence affects many young people, whether in their relationships with each other or if they have grown up with violence in their homes. From playing Ste on Hollyoaks I can imagine how frightening it would be to have him as a boyfriend. Violence and bullying in relationships is always unacceptable. Everyone should Expect Respect in all of their relationships, and not only expect to be respected but to give respect to others as well.”

Young people affected by domestic violence or who are interested in the Expect Respect campaign can go to the redeveloped Hideout website now contains a range of new interactive features with separate areas for children and teenagers and includes an online messageboard for young people.

For more information contact:
Teresa Parker on 0117 9837123 / 07815 598 784
Jess Tadmor, Marketing Manager for Panini UK on 01892 500105

Grey Thinking…

December 4, 2008

….is a mental health blog written by someone with experience of the issues raised, who has a particular interest in eating disorders, and who would like to share positive thinking, ideas and research with others with similar life experiences.   Some interesting thoughts here, written in a direct and open way.   Well worth a look if ED is your interest.

This is the link: