Blog by OASIS Young Commissioner, Caitlin

Hi my name is Caitlin!

I’m 21 and I’m from Oasis group.

I’ve been doing different tasks which have been set during the COVID lockdown.

I’ve given feedback relating to bullying campaigns and helping contribute to the well-being hub e.g having input to the resources needed for the hub.

I’ve also made quizzes for the group which is a good distraction and definitely fun to do.

I really enjoy our group zoom sessions every week as it’s important to speak to people during this difficult time and it’s great to do our sessions over a video call.

We do different tasks and challenges every week. I love the quizzes especially in addition to the zoom calls.

I also really enjoy the online tasks and we get certificates and pin badges for taking part.

There’s many creative opportunities and also a good variety of opportunities to take part in.

I’ve taken part in a lot of the tasks as it’s keeping me going and I love getting involved. I’ve taken part in many but I liked the one where we had to make our name out of objects I made my name out of jigsaw puzzles!

Really fun tasks and I’m glad to be taking part.

Caitlin – OASIS Young Commissioner

Committing to Ramadan in an uncertain time

Shuheb Miah

Hi there!

My name is Shuheb Miah and I work as a young advisor at Sheffield Futures, where I work with others to make services and resources aimed at young people (YP) more user friendly, so they work best in helping YP as part of the YP’s generation myself! This is paramount with what’s currently happening now and I hope in this climate, this post can give young people (YP) a little hope, confidence and some time to reflect!

I am also quite proud to say that I’m from an ethnic minority background of British Bangladeshi decent, which brings me to the main purpose of this short post: Ramadan and my reflections so far as well as for YP in lockdown who are fasting, whether from the Muslim community or not!

It’s both a blessing in disguise for me to be able to celebrate and maintain this sacred tradition this year round (fasting having started from Friday 24th April post sehri time at 3.59AM or on Saturday for most Muslims), but at the same time I’m sure for anyone reading this post, whether from the Muslim community or those who are simply devoting their time to fasting in this holy month, can agree with me that is a very difficult time for us all. Partly, due to the lockdown guidelines set out by the government  mainly telling us all to stay home and only go out when essential once a day (for exercise, shopping, work or medicinal supplies). Whilst this change has had a clear effect on our day-day lives, I think it’s safe to say that these rules are in place to protect us all and also perhaps more vaguely, to let us know that we are in this together as well.

The values behind Ramadan have never been clearer to me and have allowed to see a symbol of togetherness and solidarity in the lockdown. Fasting also referred to in Muslim faith as Sawm as the fourth pillar of Islam, is a time of empathy and feeling thankful for what we have compared to those across the world who are not as privileged as us here in the UK. What better time to reflect and show our immense gratitude, our compassion for the YP, adults, children and families that have been deprived long before the virus from shelter, a place to call home and access to basic food and water; it truly saddens me on how these issues are heightened at this time.

I think it’s exceptional how the coronavirus pandemic has led to so many unforgettable realisations and has taught me a lot. It gives me both immense happiness and pride to be fasting in this time. These include how resilient our NHS has been in this adverse time and also the amazing and valiant frontline key workers including the amazing professionals at Sheffield Futures and an empowerment charity that I work with called Chilypep, providing virtual assistance to YP on their Facebook pages, Instagram and on their websites. Furthermore, for those risking their lives to support the public and YP affected in this time (NHS staff, teachers, youth and social workers/care, bus drivers and retail staff amongst many more), a mere thank you wouldn’t be enough.

After reading an article in the Guardian by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, it truly hit me on the risk our NHS staff workers face, like warriors going out to a battlefield knowing what’s at stake. I send over my condolences and indebtedness to all of our NHS staff (whom the mayor says have been hugely affected) and to all who have lost their lives serving the public.

Equally, behaviour is something that has stood out to me with the clap for the NHS/carers, which happens every Thursday evening and urge others to do as well. Perhaps a small gesture but massive for showing our huge thanks and something I feel fulfilment to take part in. Even on a smaller scale, the way my family and many families I’m sure across the UK have come closer together at home. I know for a fact that these changes are working to  keep our NHS and our lives moving forward, together.

Coming to the end, I just wanted to wrap up with how things are going for me in the first few days of fasting with a few cloaked tips! Whether  I’m going about my day reading a book or listening to an audiobook, cramming films/shows on Netflix and Disney+ or doing an online course, I always make sure to  pray namaaz for my family, friends and everyone affected and for those who have tragically died due to the virus. I can say with certainty that I will never forget the hardships yet determination, that we as a society will pull through and are showing now and also for the amazing things and people that have come to light during this pandemic.

Link to Government page with guidance on:

Sadiq Khan’s article on the link between race and socioeconomic impacts of coronavirus:

I hope that everyone stays safe at home and Ramadan mubaraak 🙂

Inspirational and creative Young People

It’s April 2020 and social distancing measures are still in place, and the young people we work with are continuing to take part in weekly well-being activities and creative tasks online and in their home environment.

We asked young people to design a letter to help create a Chilypep Alphabet. Georgie – OASIS Young Commissioner, created a beautiful picture using the letter N, but the picture was also a game and told a story.

This is a game that other young people can take part in and maybe even encourage them to create their own.

Not only a letter,

the letter N,

Now here to help inspire creativity and distraction for others over this period.

We will also add this to the Chilypep/OASIS Youth Mental Health First Aid Kit.

You can download the Letter Guide here, created by Georgie Lee – OASIS Young Commissioner

Week 1 with Chilypep online!

Take a look at the Chilypep social distancing schedule, we’d love for you to join us throughout the week!

Mondays – 9am – #walk like a chilypepper – Week 1 – Join Charly for a walk on facebook live!

Tuesdays – 3pm – art club – each Tuesday we will do something arty/ creative!

Wednesdays – we will be sharing our plants, plant making tips and tricks – week 1- Will be recycling related, and videos and photos of chilypeppers plants at home

Thursdays – Petspam and virtual pet show!

Fridays – Cook like a Chilypepper – meals under a fiver @ 5pm!

Saturdays – Talk like a chilypepper – open mic ‘night’ coming soon. For week 1 -We will be sharing e-book recommendations / fave poetry videos.

Sundays – Chill like a chilypepper – we will be looking at self-care! Exercise, relaxation, yoga etc! Week 1- Join Amy S where she will be showing us how to make a face-mask!

Paint Pattern Decoration Guide

During March 2020, a time when physical social distancing measures are in place across the World and a time of uncertainty for many young people, young people from OASIS and Peer Mentors came together to help build the support around them.

Young people utilised the technologies to still stay social whilst physically distancing. 

Young people reached out through phone contact and social media platforms and other online networks to keep in contact with their peers, community and educational sources.

Young people presented qualities by using an array of self-help methods whilst providing peer support to their friendship and wider networks.

Here is just one of many examples to come, of how during this period young people are coming together to develop and share self-help guides and support.

Two Young Commissioners from OASIS have co-produced a creative guide which will also be added to the Youth Mental Health First Aid Kit. We hope you find this activity soothing and calming.

You can download the guide here


So far, we’ve raised an amazing £5,654!

The Barnsley Wellbeing Hub has been led by young people with lived experience of mental health, based on what they believe will be effective early help, creating a service that reaches out to isolated children, young people and their families.

The hub will be using innovative and collaborative methods, improving access to prevention, early intervention and mental health support.

The Barnsley Wellbeing hub model will combine youth work, social action, wellbeing resilience initiatives and evidenced based interventions to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts!

Research has shown that half of adult mental illness’ start by the age of 14, meaning prevention and early support is vital. Barnsley is currently the 39th most deprived Local Authority out of 326 places. Child poverty is significantly worse than the nation average.  Self-harm for 10 to 24-year olds is significantly worse (over 50% more) than the England average and is increasing*

We are working together with young people in Barnsley to change this experience for the better!

As a charity we want to raise as much funds as possible to make the young people’s ideas for the Well-being Hub become a reality.

So far, we’ve raised an amazing £5, 654 through the AVIVA Community Crowd fund, Barnsley Boost, Project 14 and many other local businesses and individuals! 

Thank you from everyone at Chilypep and the OASIS group for your kind donations!

Here are some of the positive comments we’ve received along the way

This is a great project that is having a brilliant impact on young people within Barnsley! Carry on the good work!

Chilypep deserves support with this amazing project!

Such a good cause and very needed for the young people in Barnsley.

Good luck, what a great group!

Such a great cause, fingers crossed you get lots of donations.

In the words of young people themselves, a glimpse of what we’re working together to try and create;

A COMFORTABLE well-being hub would have comfy chairs, bean bags, creative activities, and a welcoming environment. It should also have a good first impression, music, soft rooms be able to signpost and offer a range of services for those aged 0-25.

A SAFE wellbeing hub should have no cracks in the walls, lockers for bags/belongings, safeguarding policies and a building manager. It should be safe all the time, have security, warmth, and everyone worker should receive mental health first aid training.

An EMPOWERING wellbeing hub would have opportunities, post 16 choices/volunteering, a young person’s wellbeing hub board. It should have everyone working together, young people’s art and campaign work included in décor, and feedback forms and methods visible and accessible.

A YOUNG PERSON FRIENDLY wellbeing hub should have community involvement, a wide range of services for those aged 0-25 and for parents and carers. It should be accessible, have brail and gender-neutral options. It should be open at different hours to meet the needs of many. It should be open when young people can access it after school and weekends.

An AMAZING wellbeing hub should have young people’s involvement, opportunity for young people to strive, young person friendly staff and well managed.We hope you stay with us throughout our fundraising journey and we will be updating our progress again soon!

We hope you stay with us throughout our fundraising journey and we will be updating you with our progress soon!

Act for Change!

Act for Change is a new partnership project between Chilypep and Element Society, funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Esmee Fairburn, the National Lottery Community Fund and the #iwill Fund, and we want to hear from YOU!

We will be working together to support young people to campaign on the things that matter to them, to make change and challenge social injustice and inequality.

What would you like to change? The big stuff, the small stuff, the ‘if I could change anything in the world it would be…’ stuff. Our Youth Steering Group also want your help in choosing a name for the project.

For a chance to win a Nintendo Switch Lite, fill in our short survey here and start making change for young people today!