Young people today face 24/7 pressure.
Soulscape exists to give them space.
Soulscape is a charity working in partnership with Wokingham and Bracknell schools to give young people the space they need.
Being a teenager has always been tough. But for today’s young people, peer pressure happens around the clock, bullying invades their own homes, and exam pressures at school have ratcheted up.
With pressure to keep up appearances online, be available 24/7, perfect (and share) their bodies, get the best grades, think and say the ‘right’ thing, and support their families too, teenagers live with a huge amount of stress.
We are seeing a mental health epidemic in our young people. The number of teenagers with mental health problems has doubled in the last 20 years. In 2018, more than a fifth of 14-year-old girls said they had self-harmed.
And for those who don’t become ill, there is little time and space at school or home to switch off, breathe, reflect, and form their own opinions and ideas – something that is a crucial part of adolescence.
Our aim is to create space
Young people don’t need yet another voice telling them what to think and do. Rather than pile more pressure onto them (“do these ten things to feel better”), we believe in creating space away from it all. Space to reflect, to ask big questions, to explore what’s going on inside, and to creatively express their own ideas.
We do this by…
- Listening to young people’s ideas and requests about what they want to discuss, whether that be self-harm, pornography, or how to make good decisions.
- Running workshops on these topics in their schools, where they can explore, debate, reflect and express themselves through the creative arts.
- Helping schools in Wokingham and Bracknell to run an effective PSHE and RE curriculum.
Soulscape is uniquely placed to help
Schools want to meet these needs themselves, but are struggling with shrinking budgets and the demands of new exams. Many are having to reduce the number of pastoral staff and creative subjects they offer. With less PSHE, art, drama and RE, there is less space within school for debate, reflection and self-expression.
The NHS is struggling to cope too. The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is terribly stretched, with teenagers often facing year-long waiting lists and a high threshold for accessing help with their mental health. We need more prevention and intervention work in schools.
Churches can offer a unique space to reflect on life and consider big questions, but it’s unlikely that the majority of our local young people will step inside them. Instead, Soulscape brings this ‘bigger picture’ perspective to Berkshire’s teenagers where they need it most – at school.
Soulscape is a registered charity, number 1169989.