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New vodcast lifts the lid on vulnerability and young men growing up in Southwark

17 November 2023

Three young men from Southwark open up in a new vodcast series that aims to show how vulnerability is a strength.

‘Full Circle’ spotlights what it means to be a young man from Southwark as they tell their stories predominantly through the lens of the Black community.

The hosts discuss topics including life milestones, education and health, including living with sickle cell disease.

Special guests include local community leaders, such as therapeutic coach Alex Holmes and John James OBE from the Sickle Cell Society.

Eight episodes are now available on Southwark Space, a new video platform launched by Southwark Council on YouTube to help young people speak to their peers and a wider audience. Watch the episodes now.

Introducing the hosts: “Life doesn’t always shape up, but it does come Full Circle”

Kelvin Miles, 31 from Elephant and Castle, said: “I joined this vlogcast to rediscover who I am and what made me the person I am today. I've learned to really channel the emotions and thoughts I could not articulate when I was younger. I've come to a place of acceptance which has made me relinquish things I was holding onto. I hope more young people use Southwark Space to articulate their experiences and connect with local leaders to empower, heal and celebrate together as diverse and rich community.”

Luca Wood, 19 from East Dulwich, said: “I joined the Southwark Space project to challenge myself by speaking on certain topics that I wouldn’t normally speak on or question. It has allowed me to be more open and less reserved about my past. I hope that Southwark Council continues to deliver projects like these.”

Reuben Quaye, 31 from Camberwell, said: “I am a young black man living with Sickle Cell Disease. The vlogcast has been an opportunity to present my experiences as a disabled black man who has struggled with concepts like vulnerability. There are many reservations and ill-feelings towards vulnerability in the male community and this vlogcast provided the chance to challenge and discuss them. I hope it can promote a wider conversation on how vulnerability can be used as a strength.”

The council worked with the young people and producers Anubis Pictures to develop and film the vlogcast at The Trunk, a hireable community venue at Elephant and Castle.

Cllr Portia Mwangangye, Deputy Cabinet Member for Young People, said: “There’s an immense power in telling our stories. We break-down barriers and expectation. We build connection and community. All of this helps us create a space for healing, which is what we hope to achieve for young people through our new video platform Southwark Space. Young people are at the sharp edge of many societal problems, so supporting their mental health has to be a priority.

“Full Circle is the debut vlogcast where young men from Southwark delve into the deeply personal. Through telling the stories that made them who they are, they prove that vulnerability is not weakness, but a sign of strength. We hope these episodes will be used by anyone wanting to open up spaces for other young people to tell their stories and begin healing.”

Ade Bademosi, Director at Adubis Pictures, said: “I can empathise, with great ease, about the challenges that young men face when it comes to being able to speak freely. All too often black men are called aggressive or are seen as problematic for speaking their minds. That is why it’s important that these young men's stories are being told because it shows other young men that their stories are important despite what people think. Keep talking your truth!”

Page last updated: 20 November 2023

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