From Helen, one of our Relationship Revolution team
Many will know Shmu as the local radio station that brings music and topical discussion to Aberdeen listeners throughout the week. Their radio station is in fact just one of the tools they use to regenerate local communities and equip young people with life skills. I was invited to visit the Positive Transitions team run by Shmu, to give them a taste of what we do and discuss relationships with the young people.
Positive Transitions is a 12 week course for 16-19 year olds, during which the young people gain employability skills and qualifications in various aspects of media production. I was asked to provide a session for them on the topic of relationships, body image and the media, and the proposed date turned out to be on Valentine’s Day. What better day to get talking about relationships!
The group had a lot to say, and quickly fired up some healthy debate about the priorities in a relationship, and the role of school and family in influencing decision making in relationships. The ability of the group to express their own opinions and respect those of others was super encouraging. We moved on to talk about the media, and the group again had a lot to say about the skewed presentation of relationships and body image across social media and advertising. It was great to see such awareness, and it was a privilege to be able to add to this and encourage greater media literacy.
After our discussion the young people demonstrated how to put together and deliver a radio show in record time. They do this once a week, but this was only the third time that most of them had appeared on the radio, and it was plain to see how quickly they had picked up the required skills to do this successfully. I was nervous when I learned that they planned to interview me as part of the show, but the group put me at my ease, and it was great to share about what I do on air. The group also presented some of the ideas they had discussed in the session, in between some of their favourite tunes. This experience was a first for me, and its success marks the continuation of a great partnership between Shmu and Choices.