Peace to me means helping young people to visualise their future, acknowledge what has occurred in the past and embrace the offer of support to deal with and manage the present.
I very much believe in communities raising the child, in my own childhood I knew my neighbours and my neighbours knew me. I had the freedom to play, express myself to a degree at home, friendships that made me feel safe and aspirations that were nurtured by my parents.
No matter where you work and situations in life you have to know how to communicate, a big part of my work in play settings, main stream schools and pupil referral units has been encouraging and modelling positive communication.
I teach young people that there are no wrong feelings but it is how you express them. This requires understanding themselves, acknowledging their limitations and channelling negative emotions through appropriate outlets.
I believe honesty and discussion gives young people an insight into choices of lifestyle, education and health.
Peace is about reflecting on situations, deciding which steps to take next and learning from those experiences.
Early intervention, nurturing, supporting families and embracing professional, voluntary and life experiences help our young people.
This has been a big part of the work that I have undertaken as a delivery partner for the Mayor’s Fund for London. They are striving to improve the lives and experiences of young people from conception, through school, into work, training and further education.
If young people are aware of the risks they can manage them, seek help and stay safe. As a trainer for Kids Taskforce I work with educators, parents, voluntary and statutory organisations to work in partnership to keep young people safe.
If a young person feels safe then they can reach their full potential and feel that inner peace.
Wendy Phillips, London, 19th September 2012