What Plus One Did For Me - Blog by Becky Palfreyman

Over the past years I have always enjoyed taking part in Plus One projects and meeting the people who help run them as well as the other young people getting involved. Over the October half term, between the 24th and the 27th, an opportunity arose for me where I was able to attend a project with other young people to come together and share our creativity. 

School holidays are always a difficult time for me as I live independently and struggle with long periods of time on my own. Plus One projects such as this give me an outlet from my college, which at present is restrictively academic. They also provide a time for me to not fear being on my own but to enjoy and look forward to spending time with other young people creating and inspiring one another to develop pieces of art we can be proud of.

On the first day of the project I could not attend due to illness, however when I arrived on the next day, lots of creative pieces of music, story frameworks and dance pieces had already been made. I got involved at my own pace, as personal difficulties were creating distractions for me. When I look back on this week, I realise the safe space that Plus One creates for all its young people. It’s a space where pressure is non existent but enjoyment and the space to be creative is overwhelming.

The 3rd and 4th days of the project were my personal favourites. I am currently in my last year of A levels and undergoing UCAS enrolment. Because of the project giving us the opportunity to attend Derby University I benefited from this massively. On the 3rd day a skills and careers work shop was held for us, this incorporated job specific information as well as general information on employability qualities. It helped me build confidence on what qualities I have as well as being able to aid other young people in recognising their own qualities.

The final day was held at the forensics house in the University. On this day we were given information on crime scene analysis, forensic officers jobs, how to deal with a crime scene and much more. This all aided us with the aim of the project.

I have never took part in a social action project before, however I feel this gave a really strong focus for everyone. The pieces of art created on the first days, gave a space for everyone to voice issues that they feel strongly about or have had experience in. I feel it gave an interesting perspective of how young people perceive crime as well as thoughts as to how factors within people lives may lead them into crime.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this project and would really enjoy taking part again in the future. I would like to thank everyone who helps make these projects happen – the postive impact and influence they have on my life and other young people's lives is massive!

Becky Palfreyman