Issue 2 Summer 2011
A magazine produced by young people in Tower Hamlets
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s u s n e C he t d n a , f rime, Bee
DA POE - LIFE AS A YOUNG OFFENDER - EATING DISORDERS IN THE MEDIA
pause Holla to all Pause readers... now how have you all been? What did you think of the first issue? Did you enjoy it? Did you miss us? Believe me, they may all be rhetorical questions but I am still intrigued by what you think, so do me a favour and send me your comments on the Headliners website. Well anyway we’re back, bigger and better. Our interview with Ghetts will definitely get your nose twitching. As an artist he is just phenomenal and we’ve been fortunate to get out all the nosy parker bits. We sure can be inquisitive! Also we’ve definitely gone that extra mile to find out the truth about single sex schools and mixed schools. I’ve always wondered what the real difference is between the two. Then there’s also our big investigation into Young Offenders - who needs Panorama when there’s Pause? This may be Issue 2 but we haven’t forgotten the humour that will keep you laughing until you break the window with your cackles! We’ve got more embarrassing stories and other articles that will probably get you in trouble for reading too much. But who cares? You only live once, so why not live in the world of Pause! Read, enjoy, and tell your friends about us, even your teachers (actually maybe not, your copy might just get confiscated). Adios amigos
Reema Begum, 16 Junior Editor
the pause team Reporters: Ambia Tasneem Ali 15, Amrita Kaur Landa, 15, Arron Martin, 16, Clair Tighe, 16, Gabrielle Appiah, 15, Hamida Begum, 16, Ola Adeniran, 15, Precious Adesina, 16, Razeya Begum, 17, Shanara Philips, 15. Headliners Staff: Sam Hepworth (Editor and page layout)
all about headliners Headliners is a media charity that offers a unique multi-media learning through journalism programme for young people aged 8-19. Working in partnership with other organisations we aim to give young people opportunities to undertake real journalism which results in magazines, videos and radio packages. We work with broadcasters and publications such as the BBC, Sky, ITV and The
Guardian, to place the work we do in the mainstream media. Our aim is to get the views of young people heard by as many people as possible, particularly decision makers. www.headliners.org
Contents 04 Revision Tips
18 A Young Offender Speaks
We give you the secrets to exam success.
Read in their own words how one young person rebuilt their life after getting in trouble with the law.
06 Mixed and single sex schools Young people share and compare their experiences of education with and without the opposite sex.
08 Black Storm A profile of South Endâ€™s Hip Hop and R&B superstars in the making.
10 Da Poe The East London emcee explains how heâ€™s using music to offer young people a brighter future.
12 Ghetts We talk music, beef and politics with the Grime legend on the eve of the release of his new album.
20 Eating disorders in the media We investigate how some media coverage of eating disorders can do more harm than good.
22 Underage drinking Underage drinkers explain how their religious views clash with their lifestyle.
24 Problem Page Our panel of young journalists offer their solutions to your real life dilemmas.
26 Pause Poetry A poem by Pause journalist Razeyah Begum.
15 Youth Offending Team Meet the people who work with young offenders to help them turn their lives around.
pause TOp TIPs
Revision Don’t let exams get you down! Pause gives you some advice on how to get your brain in gear before the big day
Make little notes and stick them up around your room where you regularly go past such as your mirror, door, wardrobe etc. It’s an easier way to remember and a visual method of learning.
Make it fun
Create flash cards by putting different questions on the front and the answers at the back, tell your friends to ask you these questions and time yourself. It’s a fun and quicker way to learn. You can also do the same with a case study by writing down the main points and the researchers’ names.
Make it your own Read the text,
understand it and then write notes on it in your own words.
Break the topic down by making your own headings and make sure to highlight key words; that way you’ll understand the topic better.
those 5 minute breaks that’ll briefly take your mind off what you’ve been doing.
No matter how hard you try, cramming all your revision in the night before the exam won’t work. The earlier you start revising the better chance you have of remembering it. Go over the notes that you’ve already made before you go to bed, that way everything stays fresh in your mind. In the morning don’t try putting anything new in your head as this will get you muddled up and you might forget the other stuff you’ve learnt.
Brainstorm highlighted phrases; you might want to memorise the headings and keep account of how many there are as this can be a better way to remember what a particular topic/text is about. Just think of them as the lyrics to a song and keep going over them in your mind.
When revising it’s best to take short breaks (5 to 10 mins) every 20 minutes. If you don’t have breaks you’ll wear your brain out, you’ll find it harder to concentrate and you won’t remember anything. Try and think of little things you can do in
This article was written by Razeya Begum, 17
And a couple of pointers for the exam... Remember to take some water into the exam with you as well as your equipment Always switch your phone off or you’ll be sorry... Don’t forget to go to the toilet before if you’re going to be in the exam for a while Don’t freak out. Just think of it as if it’s one of those practice exams Don’t rush – remember to read the questions properly and make sure you’ve understood them first before you start writing your answers.
The Big D v de Two young people give their views on what it’s like to attend single and mixed sex schools The Mixed sex school Farting, spitting, burping, and rushing; only some of the attributes that make boys what they are today. I go to a mixed sex school consisting of all the stereotypical cliques; the geeks, the sporty kids, the popular kids, the emos, etc and a lot of the time it’s a blast especially with friends around and a bit of va-vavoom (romance). Oh yeah and there’s education of course which is alright... Some people say that education in a single sex school is better and that students are more focused but from speaking to my friends they all seemed pretty keen about learning and their education, despite the fact
there are members of the opposite sex around. When I asked my friend Femi whether she was distracted by having boys in her class she said, “They’re just the opposite sex, no big deal” and I think that sums it all up. We’re still focused and raring to go! Of course, to say that we never think about the opposite sex wouldn’t be entirely true. As teenagers in a mixed sex school we’re not only thinking about education. There’s also romance and a lot of thought goes into that. All the usual questions go round in our heads: ‘does he/she like me, should or shouldn’t I make the first move?’ (for the record my friend Alfie thinks that boys normally have to make the first move and I agree; I guess I’m just traditional like that). If I’d gone to a single
sex school I assume that I wouldn’t be as comfortable as I am around boys and so I’d be totally confused by all the things to consider when it comes to relationships. Within friendship groups in my school there’s a lot of mixing and it’s totally normal; girls with guy best friends and guys with girl best friends. It’s said that this is the best way to prepare for adult life and I totally agree. Hanging out with guys/girls is fun and good for the future. Not having guy friends around is totally alien to me so being in a mixed sex school has no downsides! Overall mixed sex schools are fabulous in spite of the farting, spitting, burping, and rushing boys. Gabrielle Appiah, 15
“If I’d gone to a single sex school I’d have been totally confused about relationships.” Gabrielle, 15
The single sex school “Stop fraternizing with the boys!” This is my Headmistress giving us yet another lecture about our socalled ‘contact with the boys’. You see, I go to a single sex school with a conjoined boys school; we share break. Imagine break time and a busy canteen full of loud, argumentative teens. It’s like the Year Six dance all over again; boys to one side, girls to another with around 20 brave people mixing awkwardly in the middle. This awkward mixing in the middle of the room is the fraternising my Headteacher is on about. Don’t be surprised, it’s just the usual life of a student attending a school such as mine.
“I am personally quite wary of the opposite sex. I almost see them as a race from another planet” Clair, 16 Okay, so what is the main reason we get sent to a single sex school? Education. There are loads of studies that say pupils get better grades in single sex schools. One by Stetson University even found that in single sex schools 86% of girls and 75% of boys will get ‘acceptable grades’ where as in a mixed school it will only be 59% of girls and 37% of boys. Surely this proves single sex schools are the way to go? Hmm. I wonder if these guys went to a single sex school? I think not. Education is not the only thing to a secondary school. The social and psychological repercussions of attending a single sex school have been argued about for many years. Some people may say it hinders one’s ability to talk to the opposite sex and does not prepare students for the ‘real’
world. From experience, I believe that although the educational aspects seem to be positive, the social implications of attending a single sex school can have a negative influence on a teenagers character. I don’t know about my fellow pupils, but I am personally quite wary of the opposite sex and I see them almost like a race from another planet. Would that be the same if I’d been to a mixed sex school? I personally think that as long as teenagers are supported and helped to flourish, they will leave school with the confidence and qualifications they need regardless of whether they share their school with the opposite sex or not. And as for break times, this girl is continuing to fraternize. Clair Tighe, 16
There’s a STORM brewing...
Barely out of school, Black Storm are ambitious, talented, and could be destined for pop stardom. 8
They are already massive in their home town of Southend. Now they’re looking to make it big in Britain and beyond with their brand of R&B and Hip Hop. We caught up with Young Joe, Magic and Younique who, along with Poser, (who sadly couldn’t make the interview) make up the Black Storm sound.
Above: (l to r) Poser, Young Joe, Younique and Magic Left: (l to r) Younique, Magic andYoung Joe When did Blackstorm start and how did you guys all meet? Joe: My brother, DJ Killer B, started Blackstorm, I was in year 7 at that time, that was 5/6 years ago, I made a track, he played it in a club and it got a lot of attention but at that time I felt like I couldn’t do it by myself, so we kept recording and at the same time we went out and looked for members to form a group. I met Poser first, then he brought Younique and Magic into the studio and we’ve been together about 3 years now Younique: I was singing every day and everyone was telling me I’m quite good. I met Poser and he brought me to Joe and Magic and I could see that this was different to what anyone in Southend was doing at that time.
What made you decide to pursue music as a career? Magic: At first I was just doing it for fun, but as soon as I met Joe and saw how serious and passionate he was about it I could see that if we worked hard we could actually get somewhere. That was my inspiration. Do you guys ever disagree with each other when you’re working on a track? Magic: Of course, a lot, but that’s what makes the music so good. If our opinion is the same then we know that a tracks good, but if we disagree then we know that something needs to change. Younique: At the beginning of the song we might not all agree but by the end of the song we’ll be feeling it. How would you describe your sounds, what makes you stand out? Magic: Because me, Poser and Joe are from an African background it makes the music different because we
add a little bit of an African sound to our music, even when we rap we have a little bit of an accent so it just puts everything together. Joe: At the same time what makes it different is that we don’t just use lyrics because they sound good, we’re saying it because we know how it feels, we’ve been through that situation. For example there’s a lot of people out there trying to make money so we felt like we had to make our song Legendary Grind. We felt like we had to speak on those people’s behalf because they’re doing it 24/7 and not getting any credit. Magic: In London it’s mainly grime but we’re mixing that with the singing and anyone can listen to singing. We’ve come out here with something different to what everyone else is doing so that’s what makes us Blackstorm. Interview by Ambia Tasneem Ali, 15, and Razeya Begum, 17.
Poet of the people
East London emcee Da Poe is in it for more than just the fame and the glamour. He explains how he wants to make a difference through his music “We’re breaking up/ We’re breaking up...” If those lyrics ring a bell then you probably already know about Da Poe. The emcee behind tracks like Girl for You and Sajna has been steadily building a profile for himself over the past couple of years and has really inspired some of us here at Pause. It’s about time you get inspired too. How did you first get involved in music? It actually started with poetry. Da Poe is short for Da Poet. I used to write poems when I was 11 or 12. I started listening to hip hop, then got into grime. I used to record in a local youth centre about 5 years ago. It was a hobby for a long time it’s just recently that it’s become more serious.
What do you do when you’re not making music? I work for an organisation called Leaders in Community establishing youth groups for housing associations. I run a music course for 13 to 19’s with DJ Armz, it covers music production, vocal coaching, guitar lessons and dance classes; I teach lyric writing. I’m also putting a collective together called Stompout Camp, it’s a bunch of really good artists such as Amo, Exit and Esee. They’re all young artists so look out for that. And obviously I like doing other things as well such as playing Call of Duty and Street Fighter Do you see music as a way of steering young people towards a better future? Definitely. For instance one young person, when I met
him he was quite anti-social. He was 18 and he’d just come out of prison. The thing is though he writes bars and was doing his thing with music but just not in a studio. I thought this boy has got the passion, he’s got everything, he just can’t find a way in. Since I got involved with him he’s not doing the negative things he used to do; he’s serious about the music he’s in the studio, writing more bars. Music has kept me off a lot of stuff so I’m trying get these guys thinking the same way. You’ve spoken of a drive to produce more conscious music. What sparked that desire? It’s the issues around me, the extremist politics of the EDL and the BNP. It’s those things that put pressure on my people, and when I say ‘my
“A lot of music is all bling and I’m not really finding it appealing anymore”
people’ I’m not just talking about Muslims. I’m talking about all the youths affected by this. I’ve seen someone like Lowkey and when he’s doing his music he’s making a big difference; he just inspires me. A lot of music is all glamour, all bling, and I’m not really finding it that appealing anymore so I want to do something a bit more
worthwhile. Don’t get the wrong end of the stick; I’ll still do club tracks but I’ll be doing conscious stuff at the same time. Do you have any advice for those that want to be in the same position as you?
humble. Stay humble and keep writing. You’ve just got to get in the habit of it because if you stop, it’s almost like you got to start again from scratch. Interview by Ambia Tasneem Ali, 15, Razeya Begum, 17, and Reema Begum, 16.
One thing I always say is stay
EYE OF THE
HURRICANE Could Ghetts be the next Grime artist to cross over and go supernova? Not if it means having to compromise his sound, as the Newham emcee explains below. As a Grime artist Ghetts is nothing if not accomplished. As an early member of the legendary NASTY crew, his ferocious rapid fire flow marked him out as a unique talent. With several acclaimed mixtapes under his belt, (not to mention countless clashes with the likes of Wiley and P Money), 2011 should see the long awaited release of his debut album, Hurricane Ghetts.
still. It’s like everyone’s going right, and I just went left. And I found that hard to do because when something’s in, everyone wants to go that way. But I’ve done it. It’s got a dubstep feel to it. In terms of producers Shy FX is on there, so yeah I’m excited too.
We’re all very excited about your forthcoming album. What can you tell us about it?
Earlier this year you got involved in the Census, releasing the track Invisible to encourage more ethnic minorities to take part in it. Why did you get involved in the campaign?
I’m actually very excited about it. It’s a masterpiece and I say that without being me. I say that as someone just listening in. It’s a masterpiece. My music doesn’t sound like the rest
“I just wanted to do something positive and I am conscious that as an artist you can get pigeonholed. The tune, Invisible, is how I felt that day; I could actually write about the subject
matter, put my mind to it and get my point across. To be honest with you, before I got involved with this I didn’t even know what the census was. I rang my Mum and was saying “Mum, what’s the census? Are you filling out the census form?” When you were promoting the Census did you find a lot of people were sceptical about filling out their personal details on the forms? Yeah. I even went over this in my mind about 1000 times. Like ‘the government? What do they want my details for?’ But realistically, if it’s for a better cause then why not? In the past I’ve always said things like “The government don’t care about us, man.” (continued on page 14)
“I’m putting the government to the test. Now I want to see change.”
But if you’d asked me “Well, what have you done?” then I couldn’t say anything. Us as young men; we’ve never put the government to the test. So this is my thing, I am putting the government to the test now, I’ve helped them get information and now I want to see a change. When you were much younger you had problems with the law and spent some time in prison. What would you say to young people who are going through the same thing now. I wouldn’t preach to them. Eventually you’re gonna learn the hard way and hopefully it’s not 25 years the hard way. Because I don’t think you can get back from 25 years. But I do think you can come back from doing a little time. Before I went to prison I only cared about music to listen to as a fan. I only started writing
Above (l to r) Ambia, Arron, Ghetts and Reema.
“Don’t clash for beef. You don’t want to die because you had a clash” seriously when I had all that time on my hands. So I think you can take that negative energy and turn it into something positive and learn from it.
on top of his game, I’m on top of my game, so lets go head to head. It’s like sports; we’re just two rivals in competition, but it’s always publicity. If you listen to the dubs we don’t talk about mums or anything like that cos that’s when it gets out of hand. I learnt when I was younger that certain things can be said in a clash and it can turn into something else. Don’t clash for beef because we don’t want you to die and the reason you die is because you had a clash. What advice do you have for aspiring artists that look up to you?
You’re well known for your clashes with other artists. When you clash is it for beef or publicity?
Do you, that’s the most important thing. Do you. If you try and do someone else, you’ll be lost forever.
Publicity. Publicity all the time. Don’t ever clash for beef. Like me and P Money, we have respect for one another, he’s
Interview by Ambia Tasneem Ali, 15 Aaron Martin, 16, and Reema Begum, 16.
No Offence Taken In this special investigation Pause speaks to both staff and young people at Tower Hamlets Youth Offending team to get an insight into the causes of youth crime and the work being done to keep young people on the straight and narrow. Continued on pages 16 - 19. 15
e see a lot in the press about young people committing crime, how terrible they are and how out of control they are. But who are the people behind the headlines? And what about the people who help the offenders change their ways? Not all young people who are found guilty of a crime go to prison. Some get given community sentences, and these young people get referred to the Youth Offending Team (YOT). The YOT is a group of social workers who help these young offenders overcome their problems. Every council across the country has one, and each YOT is made up of workers who specialise in a different area (education, mental health, drugs) all of whom aim to keep young people out of prison. The young people stay on with the team for anything between 3 months to 2 years. The YOT does all sorts of work with young people. It all depends on why they’ve come in to the YOT. Kevin Jones is the Substance Misuse Worker for Tower Hamlets YOT “If they have drug or alcohol problems or they have committed drugs offences they will come to me. I’ll assess them, find out how much they are using and how much of a risk they are to themselves or to other people. Then I will either work with them or refer them to another drugs worker. I teach them about what they are taking and what it is doing to them, the short term and long term affects on them and everyone around them. It’s very important to talk about why they enjoy taking them.
“It’s like holding a mirror up to someone and sayng ‘have a look at yourself.’ They might not be ready for it” We try to adjust their patterns of behaviour. Pamela Abdul Basset is a Case Manager; she makes sure the young people see the people they need to see throughout their order. “I do a lot of offending behavioural work with them; looking at their crime, consequences of crime, how they can help to reduce problems that might stem from anger.” Adults often have this image of young offenders, or even just young people being really dangerous. However Kevin
tells us they aren’t all bad. “Nobody’s born evil; you go through certain things in your life that make you that way. When you get to adolescence you need to make big, big decisions, but if things haven’t gone well for you in life, you can make big, big mistakes. It’s really important to see that there’s room for them to change.” But do most of the young people manage to turn their lives around? Kevin thinks that’s the big question. “ It’s really difficult. Sometimes it goes really well and sometimes it doesn’t. The number one priority for us is keeping them out of prison, number two is making sure they don’t reoffend. If we only see them for a couple of hours a week we can’t control what that young person’s doing when they’re outside, but I think we’ve got quite a good success rate. I mean the targets that we get from the government are being hit so I think we’re doing a good job overall.” Their work definitely changes lives and the YOT do have success stories. Pam talks about a young person who had been in prison “His offence was quite serious, grievous bodily harm, and when I spoke to him in prison he came across as quite vengeful. But when he came out he completely changed his life around. I was his case worker here and we had a long journey together. He got into college and never offended again.” Kevin has a similar story “One girl had attacked someone and was a big drug user. She came in and was really difficult at first. She was
sticking two fingers up at everybody saying ‘you can’t help me.’ There was some really good work done with her and I just saw this real change come about gradually. She started opening up about taking drugs instead of trying to cover it up. She started being open and honest, saying actually it’s quite difficult and it hurts when she didn’t have drugs. She's going through a review that you go through halfway through your order and she might get out early because of her good progress. She’s really turned her life around with our help but she’s actually the one who has done it which is great to see.” The work they do is really quite amazing and it’s pretty surprising that they don’t find it intimidating knowing they are working with people that
have broken the law; Pamela actually looks forward to meeting them. “One of the most interesting things is how you’re going to get on with that young person. Is that young person going to like you? Because it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes it’s a bit like holding a mirror up to them and saying: ‘have a good look at yourself ‘and they might not be ready for that. As much as you experience them, they experience you too; they might not just click with you.” Pam even says she’s had some fun. “I've been in a room before with young people that have just made me burst out laughing with the way that they are. They can be quite smart, quite savvy, some young people have got very dry, good senses of humour.”
Ultimately the staff in the YOT recognize the potential of young people which Pamela explains: “You meet young people that are really talented in loads of different things, they could be artistic, they could be good singers they could be good writers. They could give you a whole different look on what a young person’s life is about. I think that young people have got a lot to offer in terms of who they are. There are loads of positive things about young people definitely. It’s about picking those out as well and telling the young person that. It’s about positive reinforcement.” This article was written by Ambia Tasneem Ali, 15, Hamida Begum, 16, and Reema Begum 16.
“I needed to take positive steps” Pause hears from one young person about her experiences with the Youth Offending Team and what she has done to turn her life around I was referred to the Youth Offending Team about a year and a half ago. I don’t really like to talk about what I did wrong to get referred here, but basically I was under the influence of drink and drugs and I hurt somebody pretty badly. That’s pretty much all I can say. At first seeing the YOT workers wasn’t good. Obviously I didn’t want to come here, but after doing what I did I felt really bad so I needed to take positive steps. I wanted to show that I was trying to put the negative stuff away but at the same time I didn’t want to look scared to be there even though deep down I was. I soon found it was alright though and there’s nothing negative about seeing the workers as they’ve helped me a lot. Thanks to my substance misuse worker I’m off the drink and the drugs. He gives me these tasks that teach me how to lay off it all. The best thing about the YOT
workers is they don’t just tell you “You are wrong!”. It’s more like they make you aware of what you’re doing and then give you other options and say “Do you want to consider this? How would this work for you?”. I’ve also learnt how to communicate with people as well because of the way the workers have communicated with me. I don’t look at myself as criminal. I feel like I’ve got control of my life. I’m studying, I’ve got my own flat and I feel proud of myself because of the progress I’ve made. A lot of that is down to the Youth Offending Team. I think if I could go back in time I’d be more open-minded when adults spoke to me. There were people in my life who said “I’ve been down this road already, you can talk to me” but I was too out of my head to listen or care. I also wouldn’t hang around with the people I did. At the time being part of this group of friends made me feel like I
was the Big Don or whatever. Thought that being a thug out on road was a good look, but it’s not a good look. I felt like I had to be part of this group of friends and that if I backed them up they would be there for me. But when I got in trouble they didn’t come and support me, they weren’t even there when I was in court. I quickly learnt who my true friends were. Having done what I’ve done and come through the other side my main advice for young people would be do what you want to do and don’t just follow your friends. I’m studying media now, and that’s something I always wanted to do but I never thought I could because my friends were telling me “Nah man, why do you want to study? Come do this instead.” You’ve really just got to pick your friends wisely and do what you want to do. Interview by Ambia Tasneem Ali, 15 and Hamida Begum, 15
Food for Thought The media has an important role to play in raising awareness of eating disorders, but some stories however, could be doing their audience more harm than good
‘Does this make me look fat?’ ‘Does my butt look big in this?’ These are two stereotypical sentences we associate with the average teenage girl. We often hear how the media plays a huge role in creating these types of anxieties. Magazines are constantly bombarding us with images of slender models
and tales of celebrity diets. TV shows are a constant parade of actresses and pop stars, all of whom are supposed to have the perfect bodies. And we’ve all seen stories in the press about how these types of images have in some way led to young people developing eating disorders. But how many people know
that on the flip side some of the articles that set out to raise awareness of eating disorders might be leading people down the wrong path as well? Rob Sayce, 17, used to suffer from an eating disorder, and is now a young ambassador for Beat, a charity that aims to help people with eating
“If eating disorders are sensationalised, it muddies the idea of what the experience is about” disorders and their families. In his role as a young ambassador, Rob has spoken to everyone from MPs to doctors and the families of fellow sufferers to help promote understanding about the condition. “The way that eating disorders are portrayed in the media is very mixed to say the least. If it’s sensationalised and used as something you can shock people with, a cheap way to sell a magazine, then that muddies the idea of what the experience is about. What usually happens is there’s a very extreme picture of someone who’s very ill, very thin and the focus is all on the appearance of the person rather than the emotional and psychological aspects of what they were going through.” It is these images of thin sufferers that can cause as much trouble as the pictures of catwalk models as Rob explains: “People who have had eating disorders and are entering into recovery often refer to [images of sufferers] as triggering because they bring up a lot of the feelings of
competition. Feelings like ‘I’m not thin enough, I’m not ill enough’ and so it can have quite a negative effect on people.” But it’s not just the images that can be triggering, the information in these types of true life stories can be harmful as well. Charlotte Allinson is the Young People’s Participation manager at Beat and she helps prepare the young ambassadors for their work with the media: “We’re very careful with our young amabassadors about the type of information they give out. They don’t provide details of how low a weight they got to if they had anorexia. They don’t provide pictures of themselves at a low weight, they don’t give people specific details of how they harmed themselves because we don’t want to trigger that in anybody else or make somebody think of a new way to harm themselves.” What also makes it more important that the media get it right when they show eating disorders is the fact that young people don’t really get taught about them in school: “Eating disorders and a lot of other mental health issues aren’t really covered in education that well.” says Rob. “I know I personally
wasn’t told anything about eating disorders at school, so often [the media] is the only way that people will actually find any information about eating disorders. “On the flip side if you get a really well informed article that really puts across what it’s like to have an eating disorder then that can be immensely positive both for sufferers and for people who may know someone like a friend who has an eating disorder.” So it’s clear that young people definitely need to be told more about eating disorders, but what information is good information? We asked Rob, based on his experiences what type of information would be helpful for teenagers. “I think an outline of the experiences of how an eating disorder actually feels and how they can develop. Look more at the things that can lead to them happening rather than the specifics of what happens when you are ill, touch on some of that but don’t dwell on it. And also place an emphasis on the fact that it’s possible to recover and that if people help them early on they don’t have to get really ill. You can turn it back so to speak so you don’t have to become really ill if you get help.”
“The focus is on the sufferer’s appearance rather than their emotions”
This article was written by Precious Adesina, 16, and Shanara Phillips, 15. If you need help, support or information regarding eating disorders go to www.b-eat.co.uk or contact the Beat Youthline on 0845 634 7650.
TS? I R hOLY sPI Many young people see underage drinking as a natural stage of teenage rebellion. But some young drinkers are breaking more than just the law. We speak to three teens about how their boozing clashes with their religious beliefs. Alcohol: A beverage for adults, supposedly drunk in moderation. For many youngsters though, it’s seen as a bit of fun and an escape from our ‘troubles’. To be able to purchase alcohol in the UK you have to be at the age of 18 or over. Despite this we get underage drinkers. In the UK, 8 out of 10 young people have tried alcohol by the time they turn 15. London's youngsters drink less than their peers in England but more than a third are regular drinkers. But it’s not just the law that some of these young people are breaking when they drink. Religion can be an issue when it comes to drinking as some religions forbid it. Many under aged drinkers know the rules about alcohol and their religions’ views on it but they still decide to drink. We spoke to some teens to investigate
how their drinking conflicts with both the law and their faith. Islam is a religion that completely disapproves of any consumption of alcohol; it is forbidden, or ‘haram’. Adults, let alone children, are not allowed to drink alcohol. However, for one young Muslim we spoke to, their religious views don’t stop them from drinking. “Alcohol is completely forbidden in my religion but I still drink it anyways” he told us. Although alcohol isn’t part of his religious background, it is big in his friendship group, and drinking is part of striking the balance between the two sections. “Why can’t I have my friends and be true to my beliefs?” It’s not just Muslim teens that struggle to strike this balance. Ellie, 15, is a drinking Christian. “In my religion
[Christianity], it states that alcohol can be consumed, but not to the extent that you ‘lose your inhibitions.’” So I guess you’re wondering if she gets drunk. Yes, is the answer to that question. Ellie explains, “I am a normal teenager and this is what teens do. Plus I’m a bit of a lightweight. I don’t think there is anything wrong with drinking as long as it doesn’t rule my life.” We were told by Ellie that her parents are unaware that she drinks and she would like it to stay that way. “I want my parents to keep viewing me as innocent” she told us. “It’s my religion or my friends and alcohol. I can’t have both. If I try, things would just blow up in my face. It is best if it’s kept a secret. ” But what about religions that take a more relaxed attitude towards alcohol? Stacey, 15,
is a Quaker, a liberal version of Christianity that allows gay marriages and does not forbid adults to smoke or drink alcohol. Yet despite this Stacey trys to stay far away from alcohol as her home life is drenched in it. “Having an alchy for a mother makes me more aware” she says. “I am more controlled when drinking alcohol because of my family background.” However, the peer pressure does not always make this easy. “If you’re at a party there will be alcohol. If you don’t drink, you’re seen as a killjoy. I don’t like the taste of alcohol, but I will still drink it because that’s what you do.” Supposedly, if you want to fit in, you have to be like everyone else. And this includes doing as they do. “You will always be expected to drink. The peer pressure never eases off.” It seems that drink is now a
“It’s either my religion, or my friends and alcohol. I can’t have both. If I try things will blow up in my face” way of life for many young people. It is supposedly fun, makes you look cool and is seen somewhat as a ritual or milestone that has to, inevitably, happen in the life of a young person. There is always going to be a thrill attached to breaking the rules, whether they are
religious or legal. The important thing to remember though is that it’s your body, and the younger you start drinking the more likely you are to have health problems in later life. Peer pressure can be extreme and cloud one’s judgement to the extent that you might find yourself doing things you never expected. It’s something everyone will experience at some point in their life. The best thing is to just take a step back, think twice and decide if it is what you really want. It’s your decision and it’s in your hands. This article was written by Amrita Kaur-Landa, 15 and Ola Adeniran, 15. Names in this article were changed. For more information and advice about alcohol go to www.drinkaware.co.uk
A problem shared... My sister used to always be happy, always making me laugh. But since she started college she’s become so moody and she’s constantly shouting. At night it gets worse, she’s always crying. I even walked in on her cutting herself. I’m scared: What shall I do? Pause to be hard I know that it’s going her. Ask but you have to talk to on that’s ing go her what exactly is s. thi like ve ha making her be ned cer con y ver y usl vio You’re ob eds ne she about her and maybe self , ver we Ho to. k someone to tal ely rem ext be can harming o need to dangerous, so you als tell d an p take the next ste sure it’s ke Ma it. t ou someone ab st. tru a responsible adult you ’re we ter Since this is your sis be a good talking about it might guardian or t ren pa a l tel idea to about it.
Last week my best friend told me he liked me, and I said I felt the same way. But that isn’t true. I don’t like him that way and I’m not ready for a relationship. I just want to be friends but I’m scared to tell him because I might break his heart. Pause First of all you are going to have to face the music and tell him the truth. You’ve already got yourself in a mess by lying, don’t dig yourself in any deeper. Clearly his friendship means a lot to you and you still want him in your life, so explain that to him. You might break his heart but the sooner you tell him, the better chance you have of staying friends.
Our panel of young journalists offer their advice on your real life problems I really like this giherlr,. teBlliutng my friends hate isted and a me that she’s twn’t see that. loser, except I do around her. I can be myself r out but I want to ask hene will hate I’m scared everyo I do? me, what shall
Me and my boyfriend have been together for a long time and I thought we were happily in love, but then he broke up with me. Now he’s saying he still loves me but that we can’t get back together because other people keep getting in the way. What do I do?
Pause You have got it bad like MJ! If you’re scared about everyone hating you for going with her, she’s going to tell you to beat it in no time. Seriously though, perhaps explain the situation to your closest friend, try and mak e them understand that you like this girl then maybe with their support your other friends will come roun d to the idea after all.
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True I will never forget that day, I nearly died of embarrassment. We have these Arabic sessions at my friend’s house; me and a few boys from the block. I had eaten something dodgy and I could feel my stomach churning. I was desperate to go to the toilet! I asked the teacher if I could go and he refused! So there I sat, wriggling around trying to hold it in, trying to find a comfortable position. 20 minutes later the session was over. As I got up I felt my guts starting to give way, I started running to get to the toilet but it was too late; I could feel something in my trousers, something disgusting and slimy! I remember thinking to myself: “No! I can’t have!”. I tried to get away before my mates worked out what had happened. But everyone could tell because the smell was so bad! Disgusted with Myself, 14
I got in this fight with this guy at school, a proper fist fight. I always used to have fights, I can’t even remember what it was over now. A crowd had gathered and we were really going at each other, there was no stopping me! Out of the blue the other guy ripped open my shirt and I was caught off guard for a moment because it left me nearly topless! The other guy stopped punching me and I thought “I won!” A second later the whole crowd burst out laughing. I stuck my hands up in the air and started laughing with the others, but then I realised what exactly they were laughing at. They weren’t laughing because I’d just beat the other guy, they were laughing at my flabby belly sticking out. Flabby, 15
Be Patient, Have Faith Be patient and have faith, this is one thing I always say, Whether you’re in the good or the bad; because I’ve learnt from what I had, Everything works out in the end and you’ll be glad. You may be shattered, you may be broken, But never lose hope as nothing is a joke, Keep that belief tight and close; never let go even though you feel so low. You ask yourself why me? You pray, you beg, you cry... Thinking you will never get there and say this is unfair, This will never pass, how much longer is it going to last? Will I be free, where is the key? Enough is enough, please let me go! But the answer always seems to be no. Feeling alone, afraid and abandoned, But then you’re eventually living for what is meant to be. Be patient and have faith, There is nothing that you can’t take.
By Razeya Begum, 17 27
Journalists Wanted Have you got a great story for the next issue of Pause? Or perhaps you want to learn how to make video documentaries? Is there an important issue that you want to get out on the airwaves? Headliners offer a range of journalism and media projects for young people aged 8-19. Each project gives you the chance to develop your skills and produce professional video, print and radio journalism pieces. We also offer Open College Network Accreditations in a variety of subjects from News Reporting through to Photography and Video Production. To find out how you can make the news contact us on 020 7749 9360 or send us an email at email@example.com
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Pause is a magazine produced by young people from East London. It mixing music arts and entertainment with special investigations into serio...