What’s in a name? Mental health hub welcomes Young Leaders behind ‘The Nest’

15 December 2020

Young Southwark residents behind the co-design and naming of mental health hub The Nest visited the service for the first time, joined by Cllr Jasmine Ali.

Young Leaders from Coin Street toured the drop-in centre on Rye Lane to see how their ideas had come to life to create a light, calm space where children and young people can access mental health support without a referral, including one-to-one sessions, group work, and peer mentoring.

The Nest is the only face-to-face service to exclusively provide early intervention and preventative mental health support for young people and their parents/carers in Southwark.

As part of the planning stage of the service, children and young people from local youth clubs and schools were consulted on how the service should be delivered, the interior design of the building, and what it should be called.

Over multiple workshops, key themes emerged: the young people wanted the name to be symbolic of safety, such as ‘home’, representing a place where children and young people are empowered to rise up and overcome the challenges they face, as well as simply a space separate from the busy world where they can unplug. ‘The Nest’ was suggested by Liam, one of the Coin Street Young Leaders, which ultimately won the online vote.

The landmark service, funded by Southwark Council and delivered by Groundwork London, is one of the key components of the council’s commitment that 100% of children and young people in Southwark have access to emotional wellbeing and mental health support.

Southwark Council and Groundwork London recently secured close to £40,000 from the Mayor of London to create a peer support network for parents and carers of young people aged 11-24 years old as part of The Nest.

This new service, which aims to support children and young people by promoting the mental wellbeing of the whole family, will equip parents and carers with information, resources and support to help them navigate the education, criminal justice or social care system.

Liam, 18 from Old Kent Road, who was behind the mental health hub’s name, said: “I really like the overall aesthetic, the vibrant colours gives the whole place a positive vibe. The space is open, not closed off, so the atmosphere feels welcoming. The reasoning behind the name is that a nest is a safe home where something can grow and spread its wings to leave. I hope any young person can come here and get the right support they need.”

Iman, 14 from New Kent Road and another of the Coin Street Youth Leaders, said: “It’s really important that young people have strong mental health because it impacts everything you do and every decision you make. I like how open The Nest is, it gives me good vibes and is somewhere that young people can come and feel comfortable.”

Cllr Jasmine Ali, deputy leader and cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “It was a huge pleasure to meet the fantastic team at The Nest for the first time in their amazing new building, as well as the young people who were instrumental in the design and naming process. What started as a seed of an idea has grown and flourished into a truly landmark service, helping us get closer to our commitment to support 100% of children with a mental health need.

“We want to make sure that every child and young person in Southwark has access to mental health support whenever they need it without waiting for a referral. I’m so happy that our successful funding bid means we can reach even more children and young people through a new network for parents and carers, helping to keep families strong.”

For more information about mental health support in Southwark for children and young people, call for free on 020 8138 1805 or visit www.thenestsouthwark.org.uk

If you are a parent or carer to someone aged 11-24 with concerns about your young person, support is available through The Nest’s Parent/Carer Champion Network. For more information, call for free on 020 8138 1805 or visit www.thenestsouthwark.org.uk/keeping-families-strong

Follow Groundwork London Youth on Twitter or Instagram to stay updated.

Page last updated: 29 December 2020