Be Yourself: Everybody Else Is Taken

Our digital project - Be Yourself: Everybody Else Is Taken - has involved us working with over 600 young people. We created the project to allow younger people to talk about their lives and personal experiences in any way that suited them.
Poster for the Be Yourself project

The project was widely advertised on social media (including our first significant use of Instagram). We loaded people’s submissions onto Pinterest and Flickr, where they are open for all to see.

We also directly approached organisations around the county, ranging from schools and colleges to youth groups.

As a result, we received over 150 contributions in a wide variety of mediums – including images, painting, blogs, vlogs, films, poetry. Each contribution has given us an insight into how young people are feeling.

As the project grew, we undertook engagement with schools, colleges, universities and community groups. We ran school assemblies, creative workshops and small focus groups, where we discovered the stresses young people face, the pressure of social expectations, their fears and their general overview on opening up about their problems. These groups consisted of 1-2-1 chats, games, artwork and group discussions. They gave young people the opportunity to talk about their story and highlighted how being listened to really helped.

Emilia Chase, then our Children and Young People’s Officer, also wrote a blog, highlighting and reflecting on some of her meetings with young people. 

Our report on the project was launched on April 25, 2017 at the Vitality Stadium, the home of AFC Bournemouth, who have been supporting the project. Below are links to the report and to places online where you can see some of the contributions to the project and reaction to them.

We would like to thank everyone who has taken part in the project, including:

  • Over 600 children & young people
  • Volunteer Centres & Children’s Centres
  • Weymouth College
  • The Arts University, Bournemouth
  • Bournemouth University
  • Bournemouth & Poole Colleges
  • Dorset County Hospital & Poole Hospital
  • Space Youth Project
  • The Chatterboxes
  • YMCA Bournemouth
  • VInspired
  • Dorset Youth Association
  • 0-19 Forum
  • Poole Young Carers
  • Oak Academy, LeAF Studio, Poole High School, Oakdale Junior School, Tregonwell Academy, Bourne Academy, Avonbourne, Thomas Hardye School, Highcliffe School, Yewstock School and many, many more.