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6 June, 2019

“Keeping Your Mates Safe” – Youth Commission launch KYMSGAME

“Keeping Your Mates Safe” is the message as North Yorkshire Youth Commission members launch KYMSGAME

The “Keeping Your Mates Safe” game (KYMSGAME) has been in development since January 2019 after Youth Commission members identified this message as the call to action that linked all their campaign priorities.

The six campaign priorities for the Youth Commission were identified following a period of extensive peer-to-peer research. The research took place in a variety of youth settings across the county and involved 3,500 conversations.

The KYMSGAME approach has been developed to assist the process of raising awareness of all the priorities with young people. Its purpose is to create conversations around the themes through a scenario based competitive game.

Peer conversations got us to this point so it should be peer conversations that help us take the message back out there

Katy was involved in the early conversations about KYMSGAME and recently helped to test the resources with young attendees at the North Yorkshire Youth Voice Conference. She said:

“When I was of school age I cannot remember any talks about risk. That’s not to say there wasn’t any, they were just not memorable so probably didn’t feel relevant at the time. Lots of places try to ignore it so it is not seen as a problem. They try to keep things hidden away. If they would acknowledge and accept the issues and realise they can help to address the problems, then things wont get worse.

“We are not trying to change people’s behaviour with KYMSGAME, we are trying to help people realise what they can do in a situation to change things for themselves and their friends. So for example “Keeping Your Mates Safe” encourages people look after each other and not go off on their own and get into difficulties

“I’m really looking forward to taking KYMSGAME into my old school. Hopefully the students there will see it as relevant as I come from the same rural places they do, however I have also seen the wider world of University and living in a big city so I can help them prepare for what might be next. I want to get the message across to keep your mates safe.”

Becka was actively involved in delivering the first sessions to test the resource at Craven College. Becka said:

“It’s progressed a lot since the beginning. It’s laid out well, the pace is good and people are playing the game for themselves rather than being talked at.

James agrees. After reflecting on his experience of leading the game at Rossett School, he said:

“It’s so adaptable and people can interpret it in their own way. A lot of workshops in schools  turn people off fairly quickly. With KYMSGAME people are doing it for themselves so it’s engaging. The fact that people are asking for us to go in to their schools and youth settings now makes us relevant.”

After co-facilitating at The Princes Trust Team in York, Amelia and Imogen reflected on the conversations that the KYMSGAME had generated about vital issues.

“It is a fun type of way to approach some serious issues, it gives people a different way of  seeing it and makes you think. We don’t normally have conversations about mental health at our school and I wouldn’t want to go home carrying a booklet about mental health.”

So far Youth Commission members have lead the KYMSGAME with young people in mainstream schools, Further Education Colleges, Youth Clubs, Youth Projects and the Youth Justice Service.

Future sessions are planned for Boarders at Private School, Special School provision, Alternative & Off-site Learning provision and Universal and Targetted Youth Projects.

Feedback is collected within each session on the impact of KYMSGAME and ideas for initiatives to help young people keep their mates safe are passed on to the Office of the Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner.

KYMSGAME also creates the opportunity for the Youth Commission to highlight other sources of help for young people,  like the the Supporting Victims Service.

We look forward to sharing stories and data from the road as we assess the game’s impact.

Watch this space.

North Yorkshire Youth Commission

Find out more about the Youth Commission

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