Right by your side



Look out for the smiley face balls and be sure to stop and say hello!

Last week, I featured here a plug for a group of youngsters running a campaign day today for disability awareness – it’s happening right now on Park Street in Walsall – all part of the National Citizen Service, and what I didn’t realise was that there’s another group from the same project campaigning alongside.

Side by Side is a project to counter prejudice against depression, and raise awareness of mental health issues in young people.

Pelsall Councillor Marco Longhi kindly tipped me off, and he asked Side by side sent me the following message:

Hi Bob

As part of NCS (the National Citizen Service), team Sabesan have set up Side By Side. We’re a non-profit awareness campaign ran by a group of 16 year olds who aim to spread knowledge of depression. We want to change stereotypes, raise awareness, spread positivity and offer support. Today (3rd August) we will be doing some street campaigning in Walsall along Park Street. We’ll be giving out free smiley face balloons, stickers, support leaflets and cards with helplines on them.

We have a range of interactive activities going on, including handpainting on a huge banner to show our success in talking to as many people as possible. We also have a ‘stick down a stereotype’ project where we ask members of the public to write down a stereotype people associate with depression.

Free hugs and friendly conversation is something we also aim to do during the day, along with taking plenty of photos for our social media. We would really appreciate people stopping for a few minutes to talk to us as we won’t be selling anything. For updates throughout the day, you can follow our instagram and twitter at sidebyside_ncs.


Side by Side


The Side by Side team

It’s good to see local kids involved in such issues, and heightened awareness of them can only be a positive thing.  My best wishes to all involved.

Don’t forget folks, if you have an event, fair talk or whatever going on and you’d like me to share it, please feel free to drop me a line: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com.

It’s all about community, after all 🙂

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