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  • Writer's pictureCardinal Newman Catholic School

Newman Students represent School at Brighton & Hove Citizens Assembly

This month, a couple of our Year 11 students were asked to represent Cardinal Newman Catholic School at the latest assembly for Brighton & Hove Citizens UK.

Oliver and Jess - CNCS Yr 11 Students

This was their biggest ever assembly with 387 people in attendance, let's reflect on how they got there, what happened on the night, and what their next steps are...

Words from Sebastian Chapleau (Lead Community Organiser) and Paris Palmano (Associate Community Organiser).

At our Assembly, we reviewed commitments made to our alliance last year. This is what has been won over the past 12 months...

With regards to the Council:

  • Some extra money has been allocated from the Council’s budget to support the Schools Wellbeing Service and Mental Health Support Teams to develop bespoke resources and trainings for young people, school staff, and families.

  • Cllr Mac Cafferty (leader of the Council) and his team have met with us on three occasions to review progress. Our meetings have been accountable - tense at times - but accountable nonetheless and we have been assured that our voices - the voices of Brighton & Hove Citizens - would be included in key decisions.

  • A Mental Health Emergency motion was something we wanted the Council to consider: a motion has been drafted. Some of our leaders have been involved in drafting the motion. Now, the motion will be voted on at Full Council in December and is highly likely to be carried. It'll be the first one of its kind in England.

With regards to the Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust (our local NHS Trust):

  • Some important work has happened to create a single-point of access to ensure that referral systems are much less difficult and more effective.

  • Some important work has happened to create virtual ‘waiting rooms’ to assist people on waiting lists (eg CAMHS, Autism Assessment, etc.) so they’re not left unsupported as they wait for key appointments. We are thrilled that some of those waiting rooms will be launched in April 2023!

Although we won on many fronts in terms of our Mental Health Campaign, the work isn't over...

At our Assembly, we sought some commitments on the following:

  1. A meeting to discuss how a marketing campaign could be developed to ensure that people are encouraged to speak more openly about their Mental Health. Usman Niazi (Deputy CEO of the Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust) agreed to help.

  2. A meeting to discuss how Mental Health First Aid Training could be organised to support those members in our communities working with vulnerable adults (eg in food banks, etc.). Usman Niazi (Deputy CEO of the Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust) agreed to help.

For more information about what B&H Citizens do, check out their website.

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