Our work with OSA – what is BIRD?

BIRD uses one-to-one songwriting and recording sessions as a vehicle to build mentoring relationships with 16-25 year olds and as a way of improving and sustaining wellbeing.  

Creating Mentoring Relationships:

The nature of creativity, the opportunity to reflect honestly on our lives and our experiences in the hope that we can express something universal through our art, can encourage a level of honesty and openness. This makes the creative environment a natural incubator for trust and rapport to grow. It is by developing this trust and rapport in our sessions that BIRD’s practitioners can legitimately become Mentors. The relationship bestows the title Mentor and it is only then that we are privileged to be invited to contribute positively to the lives of our young artists.

Sustaining and Improving Wellbeing:

From research we know that 75% of mental illness is established before the age of 24 years old. It is impossible not to have notice the increase in reports of teen depression, anxiety self-harm and other mental health issues in recent years.

There is increasing empirical evidence (as demonstrated in the cross party parliamentary paper published in 2017 : https://www.artshealthandwellbeing.org.uk/appg-inquiry/) to give power to what many actively creative people have always known – creativity is a powerful, even essential contributor to maintaining wellbeing. Brené Brown, inspirational TED speaker and well known researcher and author discovered, as part of her research how important creativity is – observing it in her data as one of the 10 guideposts to what she calls ‘wholehearted living’.

BIRD harnesses this power by engaging our young artists in at least one, creative session a week. We are not working specifically with youth who are suffering poor mental health per se, but rather working with all youth as an interventional programme designed to sustain and improve mental health, and have an impact on the numbers of young people developing poor mental health in the first place.

Charitable Aim 1: To improve and sustain wellbeing in 16-25 year olds to reduce the chances of mental health issues arising or becoming established.

Chartable Aim 2: To facilitate creative and personal development and provide a consistent, encouraging and supportive adult presence in the lives of young people.

Vision Statement:
“Fully realised lives.”

The introduction of our tenets/values wherever appropriate, are all to do with ‘fully realising lives’!
Brilliance – Acknowledging who you are
Integrity – Being true to who you are
Relationship – Sharing Who you are
Delight – Valuing and sustaining who you are.

More at www.bird.org.uk

Neil Phillimore
Founding Director – BIRD
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