Chilypep’s OASIS Group nominated for National Award

Members of the OASIS group campaign to improve mental health services for young people.

This article originally appeared in the Barnsley Chronicle on December 29th by Lynsey Bradford 

A Barnsley mental health group for young people is in the running for a national award.

OASIS, which stands for Opening Up Awareness & Support & Influencing Services is a Chilypep group based in Barnsley which aims to give young people a say in how mental health services are run.

The group has been shortlisted for ‘Innovator of the Year’ in the national Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards.

The award recognises children and young people who have taken the lead in planning, organising and delivering projects with a goal to help organisations such as schools, to promote positive mental health and inspire hope in children and young people.

OASIS Lead Project Worker Chantelle Park at the launch of the Mental Health First Aid Kit on World Mental Health Day 2017.

OASIS has developed a Mental Health First Aid Kit which was launched in Barnsley on World Mental Health Day in October 2017 and aims to make mental health more visible in public spaces and help young people struggling with ill mental health to ask for help.

Lead Project Worker Chantelle Parke said: “The shortlisting is a credit to the hardworking, passionate and creative young people in the OASIS group and their commitment to finding new and exciting ways to end the stigma around mental health and improve services for young people. The launch of the Mental Health First Aid Kit was a huge success and we look forward to seeing how it will be taken forward by schools, colleges and mental health services in the future.”

Patrick Otway, mental health commissioner at Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This is a real credit to the young people involved in OASIS. Speaking up and getting involved isn’t always easy and they have really done themselves proud this year.”

The winner will be announced at the awards on January 6th.

LISTEN: How does it feel for young people transitioning through mental health services?

Chilypep is working with the Child and Adult Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS) to help them come together and improve the process of moving through mental health services for young people.

Often, young people find that they become distressed and frustrated when moving through the services  as they have to answer the same question several times to several people, fill out a lot of paperwork that can be confusing, and feel overwhelmed by what feels like a barrage of information and intrusive questioning before they can get the help they need.

Chilypep project worker Sian Beynon presented the above audio clip at a conference with CAMHS and AMHS where STAMP group members consulted on how to improve transitions between services for young people.

“It can be a very stressful and overwhelming experience for young people to move between services,” says Sian.

“They are at a point where they need to feel heard and understood by the organisations and services they’re in contact with and it can  be a barrier to getting help when the processes aren’t in place for a smooth transition from different services or when leaving CAMHS and accessing AMHS. That’s why we’re working to improve this transition, based upon the consultations with young people and what they have told us.”

The audio clip above is an audio representation of how it feels, the kind of thoughts and questions young people have when moving through services or accessing them for the first time.


RUBIC Project celebrated in House of Commons Social Integration report launch event

The RUBIC Project aims to build social cohesion and promote integration across the whole of north Sheffield

Chilypep’s RUBIC(Respect and Understanding; Building Inclusive Communities) project has been celebrated by a new report published today by the British Academy.

Representatives from RUBIC attended the report’s launch at the House of Commons alongside The Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth and Chuka Umunna MP.

The “If you could do one thing…” Local actions to improve social integration looks report at a range of methods being implemented by community projects around the UK to improve social integration in local areas, drawing on evidence from practitioners, volunteers and members of the public.

RUBIC is a project working to enhance social cohesion in Sheffield. The partnership project between Chilypep, Mediation Sheffield (MESH), City of Sanctuary Sheffield, and Who Is Your Neighbour? has been funded by the Big Lottery to work in partnership with Parkwood Academy until 2020. The RUBIC project takes a holistic approach to improving integration and easing tensions surrounding social cohesion in Sheffield, using safe space dialogues, community mediation, awareness raising sessions, peer support and a young community leaders programme. The project focuses in the North of Sheffield, making connections between newly arrived migrants and more established residents in their own neighbourhoods, helping to increase understanding and create more resilient communities.

The British Academy report consists of a collection of essays on the social integration of both new and long settled communities, as well as case studies of various UK community projects that are focussed on the integration of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in their local area – including RUBIC based in Sheffield.

Laura Abbott, RUBIC Coordinator said:

“What makes this project so exciting is its’ holistic approach to social integration. Rather than delivering activities in silo, we have come together to combine a range of expertise and activities to truly empower communities and neighbourhoods. The project works with new arrivals, refugees and asylum seekers, but also host communities across all age ranges.

Focusing on and around Parkwood Academy we have developed a range of activities, including safe spaces where people can come to explore thoughts and perceptions about their neighbourhoods, community mediation and guardianship programmes, peer support and awareness raising work, support groups for newly arrived young people and unaccompanied asylum seeking young people, and social action projects that young people can engage in.

Ultimately we hope that we can use this resource to empower those we engage with to be able to have a voice and a say in all the issues that affect them and to influence the change they would like to see in their local areas. The idea of cohesion can often be superimposed onto a given community and we want to be led by those we are working with around what ‘cohesion’ looks like and what this means to them and be led by this.”

Chair of the British Academy project, Professor Anthony Heath CBE FBA said:

“It is often said that we live in a divided society, yet our research shows how small, local projects are already making difference to the lives of established and newly-arrived migrant communities across the UK.

“But it is clear that integration does not happen on its own. Social integration must be supported and planned, taking into account the diverse needs of specific communities and places.

“The Government’s forthcoming Integration Strategy must take account of the good work that is already going on. Only then can we build sustainable and cohesive communities, where people of all backgrounds are welcomed and supported.”

The Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government said:

“If you could do one thing…” provides practitioners, policy makers and communities invaluable and practical insights on how we can strengthen integration in local places drawing on our collective knowledge and practice.”

Commenting on the launch of the British Academy’s “If you could do one thing…” report, Chuka Umunna MP said:

“I welcome the publication of this report. We need a meaningful Integration Strategy which works for all parts of the UK to celebrate and look beyond our differences. However, integration is a two-way street requiring action on the part of newcomers and host communities.

Free Radicals Chilypep Benefit Gig raises over £1500

The Free Radicals Benefit Gig was a huge success and Chilypep would like to thank all who came.
Local jazz and swing legends The Free Radicals hosted a benefit gig for Chilypep on Saturday Dec 2nd. The night was a huge success with over 150 attendees and £1586 raised through ticket sales, a raffle and auction. 

Chilypep supporters and music-lovers alike danced the night away at Crookes Social Club where the event was held.

The Free Radicals were joined by a support act, 17-year-old singer songwriter Rachel Webster, who performed a mix of original tracks and covers accompanied by her guitar.

The gig was also the last for Free Radicals’ percussionist Val Regan who will no longer be playing with the band due to other commitments.

The Free Radicals Performed jazz and swing classics.

Chilypep would like to thank all who attended the gig and donated their time, money and auction prizes.

The funds raised will go directly towards supporting Chilypep’s projects to empower young people and help them to shape their communities and the services they use.

Young people, students and community members danced the night away in aid of Chilypep.


Chilypep girls march to Reclaim the Night

Chilypeppers marched in solidarity to Reclaim the Night.

Saturday November 25th marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Chilypep marched with young women and girls through Sheffield as part of the Reclaim the Night Women’s March.

Armed with protest signs and placards made during sessions with Chilypep around women’s and girl’s rights, the girls marched along with supporters and representatives from Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam Students Union and the campaign group This Girl Can.

The march was organised in support of the elimination of violence against women and as a call to end street harassment so that all women and girls feel safe walking the streets at night.

Chilypep Project Worker Ellie Munday said: “There was a great atmosphere and sense of solidarity on the march. It was great to give these young women the chance to get involved in what was, for some of them, their first political action.”

Some of the art work created by the Chilypep girls’ group was exhibited in The University of Sheffield Student’s Union to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Artwork by the Chilypep girls’ group was exhibited in The University of Sheffield Students Union.
Chilypep Project Worker Ellie Munday leading a session with the girls’ group to create protest banners for the march.
“Women’s rights are human rights.”

Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the 2018 Representation of the People Act in which women in the UK were permitted to vote for the first time. Chilypep will be exhibiting at Weston Park Museum to commemorate the victory for women’s rights and celebrate a proud history of political action.

Chilypep Celebrates World Mental Health Day at Barnsley #NotJustMe Event

Chilypep launched the Mental Health First Aid Kit officially this World Mental Health Day.

This World Mental Health Day saw the official launch of Chilypep’s mental Health First Aid Kits at Barnsley Town Hall. 

Hundreds of children, young people, Chilypep group members and service representatives gathered at the Town Hall for the launch of the kits, which will be distributed to schools and colleges around South Yorkshire.

They were created by Chilypep’s OASIS group  as part of their ongoing #NotJustMe campaign to end the damaging stigma around mental health.

The kits contain coping techniques and emotional wellbeing top tips including stress balls, materials to make a glitter jar, lavender dough and a fidget cubes as well as positive affirmations and inspiring quotes from other young people.

Pupils from local schools and colleges came together to celebrate World Mental Health Day and take part in drumming workshops, creative craft sessions and watch live music and spoken word poetry.

OASIS group members helped Dearne School children make lavender dough and glitter jars.

The campaign and event is part of a wider effort to improve Barnsley’s mental health services for young people under the Local Area Transformation Plan and Future in Mind, funded by Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group.

The event was opened by the Mayor of Barnsley who urged young people to talk about their mental health and Labour MP for Barnsley Dan Jarvis commented on the event: “Mental health affects us all. It is estimated that 1 in 4 people will suffer from poor mental health at some point in their lives. We all know someone who has struggled with mental health.

“For far too long there has been a stigma attached to mental health. Too many people feel worried about coming forward and talking about it. But whilst we still have a long way to go to achieve parity of esteem between physical and mental health, I am heartened by the progress we have made. Mental health is finally being seen as a top priority and that is because organisations like Chilypep and Hear My Voice have tirelessly advocated for it. I want to thank them for putting on this event.”

Chilypep, in partnership with Hear My Voice and Experience Barnsley Museums, collected the views and opinions of young people, calling for them to write their opinions about mental health, coping mechanisms and what makes them stressed on the display cabinets in the museum.

Young people made their voices heard and wrote their opinions about stress, coping techniques and mental health on the display cabinets.

The event also saw the launch of the OASIS group manifesto which includes key consultation findings and recommendations from young people abou how mental health services for young people can be improved in Barnsley. To read more and download the manifesto here.

Chilypep would like to thank all the services, organisations, young people and schools who cam to the event. Together we will create  mental health friendly Barnsley!




Mental Health First Aid Kits to be launched in South Yorkshire Schools – Sheffield Star

Young people in Barnsley talk about mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Originally Published in the Sheffield Star Online by Sam Jackson. 8/8/17

Schools and colleges across South Yorkshire are to get first aid kits to cope with mental health issues of youngsters.

Sheffield-based charity The Children and Young People’s Empowerment Project has developed the kits, which are much like a traditional first aid box, with youngsters across South Yorkshire.

The kits will include supplies to help young people cope and resolve a number of mental health issues such as glitter jars, stress balls, lavender dough, wristbands and colour therapy books. The charity has also worked with a group of teenagers to create 31 tips for better mental health – one for each of day of the month – designed to manage symptoms alongside support.

The first 50 kits and advice will be distributed among schools and colleges, with others being adopted by organisations across South Yorkshire, in time for World Mental Health Day on October 10.

Chilypep participation co-ordinator and mental health trainer, Chantelle Parke, has been working alongside young people, including Barnsley mental health campaigning group OASIS, to create the kits.

She said: “What we are aiming to achieve with the Mental Health First Aid Kits is parity of esteem. We want mental health to be seen as equally as important as our physical health. “It’s common to see first aid kits in every office, classroom and public space, why shouldn’t there be mental health first aid kits too?”

“Many of the supplies in the kits are distraction techniques. They include things like squeezing a stress ball instead of punching a wall, or using a marker pen to mark where you would normally cut.”

For the last two years, Chilypep has also been consulting with young people to improve services, the quality of support available and access.

Chilypep are partnering with creative arts therapy group Hear My Voice to celebrate the distribution of the kits, which are funded by Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group, on World Mental Health Day.


Chilypep talk to help tackle mental health – Barnsley Chronicle

Youth Mental Health First Aid Kits

Originally published in The Barnsley Chronicle 30.6.17 by Alicia Clow.

A Barnsley project has developed a young people’s mental health first aid kit to improve support for mental health issues.

The kits have been produced by young people’s empowerment project Chilypep, and include items such as glitter jars, lavender dough, wristbands and colour therapy books, are aimed at helping young people to cope and resolve a number of mental health issues. Alongside the kit, the organisation has worked with a group of teens to create 31 tips for better mental health – one for each day of the month – designed to manage symptoms alongside support.

It is hoped the kits and advice will be adopted by other organisations, with the first 50 to be distributed among local schools and colleges later this year.

Enabling young people to talk about their issues

Chilypep participation co-ordinator and mental health trainer Chantelle Parke has been working alongside young people to create the kits. She said: “It’s a distraction technique. They include things like squeezing a stress ball instead of punching a wall, or using a marker pen to mark where you would normally cut.”

Part of the Barnsley Local Area Transformation Plan – a collaboration between Barnsley CCG and a group of specially commissioned service providers – for the last two years, Chilypep has also been consulting with young people to improve services, the quality of support available and access. Young people’s mental health services are high on the government agenda and have become a national talking point.

But Chantelle said Barnsley is ahead of the curve: “We’re starting to see lots more around mental health and it has enabled young people to talk about their issues more.”

Chantelle said that school pressures, social media and bullying are high on young people’s list when it comes to things that can cause distress.

“Because of social media, if a young person is being bullied in school, they go home and it’s still happening,” she said.

Every Thursday between 5pm and 7pm Chilypep runs the OASIS Mental Health group at Horizon Community College, where 11 to 25-year-olds are able to find support, learn more about services available and to help shape what is on offer in Barnsley.

Improving support

Through listening to young people’s experiences of mental health services, the project has discovered there is a commonality between the group’s experiences.

Frequent problems include: repeating the same story over and over again to different healthcare professionals, long waiting lists for support, inability to build a relationship with just one person and a lack of awareness regarding support available.

The transformation plan hopes to use the opinions of the OASIS group to create an online directory of services and improve mental health services in the borough

Young people looking to get involved and inform the future of mental health services in Barnsley can search Chilypep on Facebook or call Chantelle on 07896131676.