Families, Schools, Agencies, Organisations, Health Professionals and Councillors coming together to enable Families to Flourish
Wednesday 17th October saw Torquay Boys` Grammar School, with the support and sponsorship of Wollen Michelmore LLP solicitors and Councillor Jackie Hook, host a free event that brought together over 200 people, consisting of Families, Schools, Agencies, Organisations and Health Professionals with a view to address the issues facing young people and their families today.
The focus was Family Support and Emotional Well-Being: 38 agencies and organisations were represented covering a huge range of issues from Drugs, Sex and Relationships, Online-safety, The Law, Emotional Well-being, to Community Sport and Activities.
Three key-note speakers gave talks through the evening providing insight, support and guidance: Rupert Chapman, of Magdalen Chambers, presented on parental responsibility and working with the authorities to provide a nurturing environment for families, whilst Chris Evans, a parent of a former student of Torquay Boys` Grammar School who sadly died from a drug overdose, shared her emotional and powerful story, giving insight and guidance to parents on communicating with their children, emphasising the importance of education and open dialogue surrounding drugs. Spencer Akerman and Phil Walker, Child Sexual Exploitation Analysts for the Southwest Regional Organised Crime Unit provided an informative talk and advice on online safety for young people and their families.
The event was open to all parents of primary and secondary schools across Torbay, Teignbridge and South Devon, as a rare opportunity to have a cross-section of support for families in one room alongside the ability to network with other families.
The event fits with the recent publication of the Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health, highlighting the increasing need to support the young people in our community, and at a time of economic difficulties for families and education alike, it is imperative that we do all we can to offer advice and support to young people.
Health and Well-being Boards for South Devon and Torbay have ratified the local transformation plan to develop Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. Organisers of the event, Rhys Davies and Sharon Walker said, “At Torquay Boys’ Grammar School, we wholeheartedly support the plan, and support our partner agencies in their initiatives to drive this forward.
“We take our responsibility to safeguard our young people seriously and recognise the importance of working collaboratively with families, agencies and anyone else involved the wellbeing of our young people.
“We would like to thank all those who attended, particularly the agencies and organisations, our key-note speakers and our sponsors, Wollen Michelmore.
“We feel that it is important that families are provided with further information on the pressures faced by their children and are able to use the content of the evening to have conversations at home about potentially sensitive issues in the knowledge that a consistent message of ‘making informed choices’ is being conveyed.”
Another event is already in the planning for next year. The hope is to provide a consistent and shared message to help young people and their families stay safe, healthy and happy.