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i-people

welly mania this man has a very healthy obsession with wellington boots...

Winter 2015

AND SO DO WE!

interview

Mario Saeed aspiring mixed Martial art champion

- Prince’s trust courses - Interviews / competition / training

Independent People’s Quarterly Magazine


Inside... Find us in the real world... Head Office Kingsley Hall 59 Old Market Street, Bristol, BS2 0ER 0117 317 8800 enquiries@1625ip.co.uk South Gloucestershire 23 The Parade Coniston Road Patchway Bristol BS34 5LP 01454 865 732 sglos@1625ip.co.uk St Georges House 101 St Georges Road Hotwells Bristol BS1 5UP 0117 927 6600 sgh@1625ip.co.uk Bristol Foyer 2a Victoria Street BS1 6DT 0117 927 6805 foyer team@1625ip.co.uk

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3... A word from the Chief 4 - 5... Get In listing 6 - 7... Welly Mania 8... Sophie - In the thick of it 9... Varsity News 10... Laura McKeown Interview 13... Eggs 14... Mario Saeed Interview 15... Your vote matters 17... Upfront / Talking Money 19... Cashpoint Awards 21... Victoria nails it for 1625ip 22... Hitch or Ditch

Freephone 0800 731 72 13 (from landlines)

Facebook “Independent People”

Twitter @1625ip www.1625ip.co.uk


A word from the Chief Inspiration. Pushing yourself to tr y something out of your comfort zone can definitely be worth it. I’ve just taken up roller blading, I have also taken to jumping off a 40ft cliff into the sea once a year. It sounds terrifying but is truly exhilarating. I’m not suggesting ever yone should take a running jump, just that it’s good to tr y and find something that suits you and give it a go. If you’re not sure what that is - there’s only one thing for it; tr y lots of things. From radio production to carpentr y, to cooking workshops and football, we’ve got so much stuff going on. Not just here at 1625ip but all over Bristol, South Glos and beyond. Ever ywhere I look in 1625ip there are inspiring people; working for us, supporting us and being supported by us. Inside this issue you’ll find inter views with Steffan ‘the welly man’ Lemke, student Social Worker Sophie, Operations Manager and Manicurist extraordinaire Victoria and Mario, a former ser vice user who’s now a driving insructor and mixed martial artist! (But never at the same time) This year we’ve been chosen as the Varsity

Series charity. The two Universities in Bristol pitch against each other in all manner of sports over a few weeks raising funds for the Unions and charities. They normally choose two charities but this year we were chosen by both Student Unions. That feels really special. We support lots of students who get into difficulties, especially those living away from home for the first time, so it’s a great opportunity for us to promote our ser vices within the Universities. We’re really looking for ward to the games – but doubt we’ll be picking sides this year. Enjoy! Dom Wood Chief Exec 1625ip Contact Tia, our Comms Officer on 0117 317 7096 or Tia.Psihogios@1625ip.co.uk if you have ideas for a piece in the next issue. 3


GET in Get Get Get Get Get Get Get

Our job is to help you get to where you need to be in life.

We want to give you as much help and support as we can so that, when the time comes, you’ve got the skills and knowledge to move on and stand on your own two feet.

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some skills real fit free stuff involved creative fed

There is something going on EVERY day of the week at 1625ip. Since Januar y, new people joining us are being given a snazzy orange diar y with times and dates of all our activities, training and group sessions. If you joined us before Januar y, you can still sign up for any of these activities.


GET more

info

It couldn’t be easier... If you want more info on any of our activities, just speak to your support worker.

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WELLY MANIA

Wednesday 22 April 2015 is Welly Wednesday. People all over Bristol and surrounding areas will wear their wellies with pride to help us give youth homelessness the boot! It’s simple, Wear your wellies to work or college and make a small donation to 1625ip. There will be best-dressed welly competitions, welly-wanging competitions and you can get your hands on some fabulous welly-related merchandise. Join us! Get your wellies on. Ask your college or workplace to take part. Drop us a line on fundraising@1625ip.co.uk or 0117 317 8800 and ask for Pilar or Tia. Visit www.1625ip.co.uk/wellywednesday for more info.

Festival Reboot A match made in rubber 1625ip’s Welly Wednesday helps young people reboot their lives. We heard about Community Interest Company Festival Reboot, who recycle abandoned wellies left at festivals and we just had to team up. Curious? So were we. The man behind Festival Reboot is 23 year old Steffan Lemke-Elms AKA The Welly Man, ‘Professional Welly Recycler’... According to your website, it all started with 4000 wellies left in a field in Pilton... What’s the stor y? And just what can you make out of a humble wellington boot? The 4,000 original boots were sitting in a pile after Glastonbury 2011, waiting to be taken to landfill. I felt slightly angry about the whole thing but then thought, “Now that’s a

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project I can start working on!” I began by experimenting with the welly material to see what I could make. This started with a simple plaited bracelet, but after a few months of work, other products and ideas started to evolve. (Drink holders, notepads, shoes)

So once you had the big idea, how did you make it happen? At first it was almost like a hobby of mine, I didn’t really think I


could make a sustainable business from it. But soon, after a lot of positive feedback and interest from shops to sell my products, I figured perhaps it could all work. I went to a free Prince’s Trust business start-up workshop, which lead to a business mentor and a small loan, and then it all started to kick off.

Before you started Festival Reboot, did you know what you wanted to do with your life? I had no idea I wanted to start my own business. I had recently dropped out of university for the 2nd time, which was probably why I went full on into this crazy idea. I needed something to fill my life, and especially something to talk to my relatives about when they asked. Now I can tell them I helped stop almost all of the 10,000 boots left at Glastonbury 2014 going to landfill.

You do a lot of really positive stuff - saving wellies from landfill, supporting charities in the UK and abroad in places like Kenya and Romania. What inspired you to get involved with 1625ip?

I come from a family that have always wanted to make other people’s lives better. There will always be people less fortunate and more fortunate than you, it’s all about balancing it out and sharing our knowledge and understanding of the world. ‘Welly Wednesday’ and “Reboot” were words that resonated with me. I also feel that it is difficult to find a path in life. I was lucky, I was in the right place at the right time with the right attitude. I believe that anyone can do the same with the right inspiration that speaks to them.

What’s next? Tent material! I must find a way to recycle this. Perhaps make shopping bags for life. Perhaps kagouls for dogs. That’s a joke. I think. I would love to make this my full time job or career.... Luckily I’m almost there.

email: info@festivalreboot twitter : @festivalreboot

Get your hands (or arm) on a Bellie.

Festival Reboot has teamed up with us for Welly Wednesday!

Buy your Bellie online at shop.1625ip.co.uk or in cash from our Head Office on Old Market St, Bristol.

£5

Super soft bracelets made from wellies 7


In the thick of it.. Sophie Foote is 20 years old and in her second year studying Social Work at UWE.

How are you finding it so far? My placement’s been going really well. Ever yone’s been so welcoming and it’s been really interesting. I’ve learnt loads and I don’t feel like I’m the ‘odd one out’ because I’m the student, I feel like a member of the team and a respected one at that.

She’s on placement in our South Glos team, so we asked her to spill the beans...

What was your motivation to get where you are? Honestly, I’m not sure. I guess knowing that Social Workers can have such a positive impact on someone’s life, wanting to help others help themselves.

So you didn’t always know what you wanted to do? No, I never really knew exactly what I wanted to do. Growing up, sport was my life, ever ything revolved around that. Now I still enjoy keeping fit and playing football when I get the opportunity but I’m focussed on my studies and reaching my goal of being a Social Worker. Quite a lot of people on my course have realised they don’t actually want to be social workers anymore; they want to do other stuff like work for the police or charities once they’ve finished.

What help and support did you get along the way? I’ve always had a vast amount of support from my family and friends, and teachers and colleagues. I’ve always been encouraged to follow my dreams and meet my goals, which is how I’ve got this far. My parents have always supported my decisions and because my auntie is a Social Worker I often talk to her about her job and experiences (without breaching confidentiality, obviously!). She’s done a lot for

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(but apparently they’re all lovely!)

me such as arranging for me to shadow her and some other social workers. It helped me get a real understanding of what the job is like day-to-day.

What’s next? Graduating and starting a career in something I feel really passionate about. University has been the best time of my life and I’m only half way through!

What piece of advice would you give to young people looking to choose or start a career? Never give up; find a way to work round any obstacles. Even if it means a lot of research and planning, there is always a way to reach your goals. Find someone to talk to about any worries or issues. If you’ve got that goal in mind, never let someone crush that dream for you. Just go for it.

If you think you’d like to get into support work or youth work ask your Support Worker about “ Tr y It” a drop-in session with free advice about learning and work. Ever y Tuesday 2-4pm Old Market office.


EMBRACE THE RIVALRY Each year over a thousand students from the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England go head-to-head over a series of sporting events, organised by the Student Unions. The Varsity Series sees students competing in their chosen sport against their closest rivals while raising money for local charities.

Student Unions at both Bristol University and the University of West of England have picked 1625 Independent People as the charity for the 2015 Varsity Series. Thanks guys! They want to let people know all about the great work we do, so they are sending their film crew to meet our very own Youth Board and Independent People Football Club (IPFC). The film will be aired on Varsity Day in a live broadcast. Varsity dates back to 1995 when the University of Bristol first challenged the University of the West of England to a boat race in the Bristol Docks. Two decades after its inception, the Varsity Series now includes 1500 athletes in over 80 teams participating in over 20 sports from both institutions. It is without question one of the biggest multi-sporting events in the South West.

UBU Sport and Student Development Officer, Alyx Murray-Jackman, 1625ip Funding Officer, Tia Psihogios and UWESU Vice President Sports and Health, Roisin Greenup holding the prized Varsity Cup.

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Name: Laura McKeown Personal goals: To support people with depression and anxiety, to make time to see the world a bit and to one day be self-employed. Hobbies: Yoga, meditation, African style dance, the occasional swim and making lists! Favourite food: Absolutely love avocados, you can get a good bunch of mini ones for a pound at a fruit market in Bedminster and sometimes in the veg place at the Galleries. Favourite colour: Turquoise Inspirational quote: Just yesterday I met up with a young person who said “The idea is what makes you immortal” I love that! “Hello, I’m your Peer Ambassador. I work as part of The Prince’s Trust, but I can work with anyone at 1625ip to help you find free courses and training, set goals and provide information on other support or exciting opportunities. Call, text or email me if you would like to find out more...Or you can often find me at ‘Brunch Club’, Friday mornings at the Foyer or the Prince’s Trust office a couple of doors down from there.’

There’s a whole load of good stuff going on... Get started with Arts Brilliant oppor tunity with PAPER Ar ts for any aspiring artists. • Chance to gain an industry-recognised Bronze Arts Award • Meet inspiring local artists / Interactive art workshops • Work as a group to prepare, brand and market your own art exhibition event • Access to art-related work experience and volunteer placements Taster Day 17th March / Course dates 23rd-27th March Development awards The Prince’s Trust have grants of up to £250 available to go towards education/work/ training equipment. They can help you with things like getting clothes for an interview, tools and materials for college or work or achieving an SIA badge or CSCS card. Enterprise course, book yourself onto our ongoing Enterprise courses for 18 - 30 yr olds to help you set up your own business. (Read Steffan’s story on page 5!) Fairbridge and Team “12 week challenge” courses too!

LAURA’S TOP PICKS Reform: Retail/Customer Service course scheduled for the 16th March-20th March. This is a 5-day course running from 10.30am-2.30pm -NOCN Level 1 Certificate in Employability Skills. - NOCN Level 1 Certificate in Retail Knowledge / £30 One4all Gift Voucher / Free 7’’ Tablet Ages 19+ Creative Youth Network: 13th April - Garden Design for 16 - 25 year olds Bristol Mind: Offers £5 wellbeing workshops

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Get in touch with Laura: laura.mckeown@princes-trust.org.uk

07436 582 248


5 people WILL WIN A BELLIE! Find and mark the SIX words in the grid. They could be vertical, diagonal or horizontal!

WELLYWEDS INSPIRE EASTER EGGS SPRING WISE

Your name: ............................................ Contact number:...................................... Email:...................................................... Complete the wordsearch. Cut it out. Drop it in to any one of our offices by March 30th 2015.

We’ll draw the five winners out of a hat and send them their Bellies in time for Welly Wednesday. Only one entry per person. Only people currently supported by 1625ip can enter.

.....................................................................................................

10,379 young

HUGE Congratulations to....

people spoke

The youth elections took place over two weeks starting on the 19th Januar y and now we know who won! The Bristol Big Youth Vote offers young people in Bristol the opportunity to elect representatives (aged 11-18) to the Bristol City Youth Council (BCYC), UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) and Youth Mayors. For the third time running the youth turn out has increased with 10,379 young people voting in this year ’s election.

Neha Mehta and Thanushan Jeyarajah. They will act as advisors to Bristol’s Mayor on behalf of young people. No pressure! :o)

Don’t get caught out THAT monday morning SUNDAY 29th MARCH 1am becomes 2am. Clocks go FORWARD. Need an easy way to remember whether it’s back or for ward? “Spring For ward, Fall Backwards” Here comes the Spring! 11


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You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs... Easter’s on its way, which means Easter eggs.

Here in the UK our Easter eggs come in many shapes and sizes. The one thing they have in common is their chocolaty goodness; but not all Easter eggs are made of chocolate.

In Greece, Easter eggs are hard boiled and dyed bright red. Sometimes they will be patterned or have stickers of saints or crosses on them. How quickly you get to eat your egg depends on a game a bit like conkers- you crack your egg against someone else’s and the winner is the one whose eggshell is the last to crack. Eggs are packed full of good stuff like protein, vitamins and minerals (we’re talking real eggs rather than chocolate ones here), easy on the pocket and there’s loads of things you can do with them. You can hard boil them, soft boil them, poach them, scramble them, fry them, or make an omelette. And that’s just for starters. Or breakfast.

How to boil the perfect egg: Bring a small pan of water to the boil (enough to cover the whole egg) and add a pinch of salt, then turn down the heat so it stays boiling gently. Use a spoon to gently lower your egg into the water. (This is to avoid cracking the eggshell or burning yourself). If you like your eggs soft boiled, take them out after three and a half minutes*. This will give you a runny yolk perfect for dipping soldiers. If you want them hard boiled, take them out after seven minutes*. Perfect for salads. Take your egg out of the pan with a spoon and run under a cold tap to cool it down and so it doesn’t carry on cooking. Crack the top off or peel the shell entirely and your egg is ready to eat. Nom nom. Did you know? The boiling point of water gets lower as you travel higher up (something to do with atmospheric pressure and the molecules being further apart-look it up or ask a science buff). This means it can take almost twice as long to boil an egg if you are 2000 ft up a mountain than if you are at sea level. * Times given are for boiling an egg at sea level. Image credit: stardust-decorstyle.blogspot.co.uk

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At 24, Mario

Saeed is an aspiring champion mixed martial arts fighter, runs his own driving school and owns his own home. But there was a time when he needed a little support... Mario - you’ve achieved a lot since you left 1625ip. Yeah, I do mixed martial art, I’m on TV at the moment, C4 and Sky Sports, EsPN, I signed up for “Cage Warrior” that’s the biggest UK and European promotion, after this is UFC (Ultimate Fighting Champion) which is in America. Hopefully by the end of this year I’ll be European champion. That’s the plan. With the driving school I’ve got six cars, six teachers that work for me and I run a successful school.

“I tried loads of stuff I didn’t like.” It started here at Independent People back in the day and I had nothing. I went to college, finished my college stuff and then was like, ‘up’. It’s all paid off so far. So how did you know what you wanted to do? Trial and error. I was a plumber but I didn’t like it, I tried loads of stuff I didn’t like. Then I taught my friend how to drive one day, and found out I’m really good at it. I passed some people and it grew by word of mouth. It’s hard work but I had a vision I could make it big so hopefully the next two, three years I can be even bigger.

The driving school is a back up plan at the moment; I became a professional fighter and I thought at least if I break my leg or my neck, I’ve got something to fall back on. What help and support did you get along the way? Back in the day I was pretty much homeless, and I was a little trouble maker, I thought ‘I cant go on like this’. My 1625 Support Workers advised me and helped me keep a roof over my head but I didn’t want to be there for ever. I started saving up, got my own place. I found direction and they were always there for me, they helped me with it. You always have to start from somewhere to be somewhere else. And I always appreciate, I never forget where I came from.

Mario and Support Worker Mark

Who or what is your biggest inspiration? Me. As long as I put my mind to it, and figure out how to do it, I can do something. I decide, if I’m not happy, I move on. The biggest inspiration is myself, I put myself into that position of ‘I can do this’. What piece of advice would you give to young people looking to start a career? Always put your mind to the next thing. Give it a go, don’t be scared. Don’t be afraid to do something, ‘cause if you’re afraid you don’t get what you want. If you don’t risk it, how do you know how far you’re going to go? 14


HOW TO REGISTER If you’re not registered by

You can vote in the general election if you’re registered to vote and:

- aged 18 or over on polling day - a British citizen, Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of the Irish Republic - not legally excluded from voting (eg because you’re in prison)

April 20th you won’t be able to vote. Registering doesn’t mean you have to vote, but if you’re not registered you can’t vote.

Bein g regis on the e le ter c an he ctoral you’ re lp if mobi trying t o l e ph Register online www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and fill in a get a on or simple form-it only takes a couple of minutes but you’ll need your National r anything e contra ct un a wher c Insurance number. you. redit che e they ck on In Bristol you can also drop in to Temple Street Customer Service Point. In South Glos you can give them a call on the number below or drop in to one of the one stop shops at Kingswood Civic Centre, ou Patchway Hub, Yate or Thornbury and they can call for you. Legally y

register have to r t a lette If you don’t have a permanent address if you ge u to (you If you don’t currently have a permanent address, which most of you now asking yo ned £80 t fi will, but are based in Bristol or South Glos you can fill out a could ge e). fus 'Declaration of Local Connection' form, giving the council an address in the if you re local area that you can collect your ballot paper from. This does not have to be somewhere you are staying. There is a freepost address at the top of the form for you to return it to. It can last up to twelve months if you don’t register from a new address, after 12 months you will have to renew it. BRISTOL: Download a form from www.bristol.gov.uk/page/council-and-democracy/register-vote-no-fixedaddress or call on the number below. SOUTH GLOS: Call them and give them an address they can send the form to, the form is not currently available online.

Make su re your ful you use l name as needs t o match it the name a ttached to your Na tional Insrance number DWP re & cords.

If you need any help ask your support worker or contact Bristol City Council or South Glos Council: Bristol City Council Electoral Services (B Bond) c/o 9 Willway Street Bedminster Bristol BS3 4SP 0117 922 3400

Electoral Registration Officer South Glos Council, PO Box 300, Electoral Services, Civic Centre High Street, Kingswood, Bristol BS15 0DS 01454 863 030 15


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Learn how to use your experience for good. Help prevent homelessness, break down stereotypes, and get skills in communication and public speaking. The 1625ip Upfront Project is looking to train Peer Educators to speak in schools throughout Bristol. helping them to make a solid plan for moving Here’s what one of our current Peer Educators has to say about it: ‘“Our intention is to increase understanding among young people of the issues and causes surrounding homelessness, and break down some of the stereotypical ideas of who a homeless person might be. This includes discussing with young people the problems they might face when leaving home, problems they may have while still living at home,

out, and equipping them with the necessar y skills and information to cope should they find themselves in a difficult situation. The truth is, ever ybody’s experience of homelessness is likely to be ver y different, and we want to show that it can happen to anyone, so it’s important to share the knowledge of what can be done to prevent it. You will get four days training covering ever ything you need to know, including ways to improve your communication and public speaking skills - and it’s a perfect chance to meet and work with some great people. We look for ward to seeing you!”

If you think you’re interested in becoming a Peer Educator, get in touch with Nicole Stapley the Upfront Coordinator for a chat. Nicole.Stapley@1625ip.co.uk 0117 317 8800 or just call in to the Old Market Street office.

FREE courses! But sign up quicktime...

Want to learn about reducing your energy bills, getting the best energy deals, how to manage your bills and reduce your energy usage?

For further details or to book a place please contact the Energy Advice Project - energy@talkingmoney.org.uk 0117 954 3544

March The Easton Business Centre (Spaceworks) Felix Road, Easton, BS5 0HE Wednesday 11th Wednesday 18th Wednesday 25th 10:30 - Midday 10:30 - Midday 10:30 - Midday April Watershed, Unit 5-6, 1 Cannons Road, BS1 3TX Tuesday 7th Tuesday 14th Tuesday 21st 10:30 - Midday 10:30 - Midday 10:30 - Midday May The Southville Centre, Beauley Road, Southville Bristol BS3 1QG Thursday 14th Thursday 21st Thursday 28th 10:30 - Midday 10:30 - Midday 10:30 - Midday

www.talkingmoney.org.uk/services/energy/

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?

Reckon YOU could

do it better

Get your hands on £500 to £5000 to do something good for your community. 1625ip’s Cashpoint project is giving out grants to groups of young tenants who want to set up something for their own community.

Yeah right. No. Seriously.

Questions you probably want to ask: How many people should be in the group? Ideally we would like about eight people to work together. What do you mean by community? Does it mean I have to set something up where I live? It can mean your local area or where you live - but community could also be a cultural, or any other kind of group, that you are a part of or feel connected to. The group can have a sum of money to set up whatever they think would be useful (for themselves and for others). What sort of thing could I do? Well - it’s really open but here’s some ideas to get you started: • plan a music event or an exhibition • do up a communal area to improve where you live • set up a service like a coffee morning for young mums • start an enterprise selling things you’ve made • start a campaign.... Whatever the idea is, if you can get a group together we could help you find the money. Do we get the money ourselves? No sorry! We need the money to go to a registered organisation BUT you and the group will have control over the money and work out what you want to spend the money on. If you’re part of a youth group they could help you apply. If you are not connected to another organisation then we can help get a Youth Worker to work with you. Can we just spend it on ourselves like plan a holiday or a trip? Not really as this would not benefit other people!

I want in! If you’ve got an idea you want to talk to someone about, get in touch with your Support Worker or contact Mel melanie.lavin@1625ip.co.uk or call 0117 317 8800. 19


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Victoria nails it for 1625ip It all started with the 1625ip OVO Sleep Out back in November; one of our sleepers Victoria Knight felt so inspired by our work she just kept on fundraising for us. Victoria has been offering manicures to OVO staff in her spare time, with all profits going to 1625ip. She’s already raised hundreds of pounds towards our work supporting young people. (She’s our Knight in shining nails) When she’s not busy bringing a little glamour to the office, she’s an Operations Manager for the OVO In-Home Technology team. And she’s only 26 yrs old.

You’re clearly a motivated person - who or what is your biggest inspiration? I’ve always been motivated because I’m the youngest of my siblings. They’re awesome and I always wanted to catch up with their achievements. When I joined OVO, I was really inspired by one particular person, when I started she was the Operations Manager, and I thought that one day I’d quite like to be like her. She’s now Managing Director.

What piece of advice would you give to young people looking to choose or start a career? So you’re an Operations Keep an open mind about where Manager and also a dab you want to be and want to hand with a nail brush, tell get to. If anyone had told me I us about that... was going to be working in the I finished uni and didn’t know energy sector, I wouldn’t have what I wanted to do. When I believed it, I’m a ver y creative was younger I wanted to be a weather girl. I loved that idea. I person; but working in an office thought, ‘Hey, I’m a jolly person can be so much fun, if you find the right company. and if it rains I should get out there and say “get your brollies Below: Victoria - clearly enjoying the out”.’ perks of travelling knowing she has a job to come back to! I also knew I wanted to travel but needed to find a job first. When I first started at OVO Energy I was on a temporar y contract. Since then I’ve progressed from Customer Ser vice Agent to Super visor, Team Leader, Trainer, Product Manager, to my latest role as Operations Manager. At one point I was able to take a six month career break to cure my wanderlust as well! The nail kit was a Christmas present in 2013 and since then I’ve been doing manicures for my friends. I mostly taught myself to do it, it’s a lot of fun.

”I was shocked by the reality of youth homelessness” There are hundreds of charities - what inspired you to support 1625ip? The OVO Foundation (the charitable arm of the company Victoria works for) helped me to see what I could do as an individual to impact on a greater cause. Sleeping out to support local young people faced with homelessness and finding out about 1625ip and the OVO Foundation’s part in supporting smart ideas, rather than just throwing money at a problem, really struck a chord with me. I was shocked by the reality of youth homelessness and wanted to find a way to continue to contribute for the longer term – that led to the creation of the OVO Foundation - 1625ip Nail Bar.

Huge thanks to Victoria and the OVO Foundation. 21 21


hitch or ditch

Straight talking, no b*llshit advice from Alice...

Alice Dear Jenny,

Dear Hitch or ditch, Me and my housemate met a couple of guys the other week and she suggested we all go back to ours to watch a film. We were getting on really well so I thought it was a good idea. My housemate and one of the guys ended up pulling each other and the other guy kept trying to put his arm round me and tried to kiss me. I went into the kitchen to move away from him and when I got back my housemate and the other guy had gone off into her room. He suggested we should too and I said I just wanted to watch the film. When I sat down he tried to kiss me again and I said no and asked him to leave. He said he couldn’t get home ‘cause a taxi would cost too much and I’d asked him round so I couldn’t just kick him out. He said it wasn’t fair I’d led him on and made me feel like I’d done something wrong. I ended up giving him taxi money just so he’d leave and having to be really blunt and pretty much tell him to get lost! Is there anything I could have done differently? I just thought they wanted to hang out as mates to start with. Jenny

It sounds like you dealt with that difficult situation really well. You were clear with him that you weren’t interested. No one has the right to sex without consent. Even if you initially wanted to pull him, but changed your mind at a later stage it would have been your right to say no at any point and he had no right to harass you and keep on asking you. The person initiating sex should always pause and make sure that they get consent. Remember sex without consent is rape or sexual assault. Alice works for SARSAS, which is a specialist support service for women and girls who have experienced any sexual violence, at any time in their lives. They offer a help line, one to one support sessions, counselling and e-support. If you’ve been affected by anything you have read, or if you’ve ever experienced sexual violence of any kind, confidential support is available. Visit: www.sarsas.org.uk or www.survivorpathway.org.uk Call their free local helpline : 0808 8010456

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Useful Numbers. In an emergency for Fire, Police and Ambulance services dial 999 SHELTER 24 hour freephone number: SMELL GAS OR SUSPECT A LEAK? Call National Grid using a phone outside your home and then call your landlord’s repair line POWER FAILURE- ELECTRICITY 24 hours

0808 800 444

0800 111 999 0800 365 900

South Glos Council (Switchboard and out of hours) 01454 868 686 (main switchboard) Emergency Hospitals and Health Bristol Royal Infirmary (BRI) Southmead Hospital Frenchay Hospital NHS Direct (24Hrs) GP / Health Centres

0845 4567 000 999

0300 1234 999

RSPCA (pets)

If you’re a Service User use the

FREEPHONE

Councils Bristol City Council (8.30am- 8pm) 0117 922 2200 Emergency Control Centre (24 hrs) 0117 922 2050

Police

Why pay?

0117 923 0000 0117 950 5050 0117 970 1212 0845 4647 0845 4647

Useful Mental Health contacts: www.mind.org.uk tel: 0117 980 0370 www.rethink.org tel: 0300 5000 927 www.awp.nhs.uk tel: 01249 468 000 Avon and Wiltshire NHS: www.bristol.gov.uk/balp Bristol active life project

0800 731 7213 FROM LANDLINES

to contact your support worker

If you need help, advice or want to talk about something that’s worrying you - your support worker will try to help you or will put you in touch with the right people. There’s always someone to talk to. Check the back of your Service User Handbook for other useful organisations and freephone numbers. 23


ipeople Winter 2015 Issue 12  

The quarterly magazine for service users and supporters of 1625 Independent People.

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