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Level Two Youth Centre (Suffolk)

Here at BBC Children in Need, one of the projects we fund is the Felixstowe Youth Development Group; Level Two Youth Centre. Level Two was set up in 2001 and started as a small club on the seafront. Over time, they have expanded with the increasing needs of children and young people in the area; promoting their welfare, mental health and wellbeing. Specifically, your donations to BBC Children in Need go towards a counsellor, Lisa Miles, at Level Two who helps local kids with a whole range of emotional needs.
An image of Shez holding a coffee cup sat on some logs
Shez Hopkins

Shez Hopkins who is a Project Manager at Level Two says,

“We don’t get any statutory funding – we are entirely funded by grants and donations.”

“We’re not parents, we’re not teachers, we’re not police – we’re just a trusted consistent service available without charge for young people and their families.”

At this time in particular, Shez told us that children and young people’s mental health has taken an absolute hammering. Thanks to your support, BBC Children in Need have been able to fund critical work in this area. You’ve helped children in like Sam*.

Sam lives in Suffolk and recently had their ninth birthday. Sam found it hard to be able to share how they felt. Sam really struggled with feelings and what was going on in their mind. Sometimes, Sam felt ok and everything seemed to be going as they liked. Other times, Sam would overthink things to such an extent that they would experience dreams and nightmares for several nights in a row. This left Sam feeling tired and lethargic for school. Level Two’s counsellor, Lisa, decided to bring the sand tray into the room.


Sam described the tray like this:

“This is what my mind looks like, sometimes I feel happy with nothing going on, but then it can all change. It’s like my thoughts being chased in my head and I get frightened. It is like a robbery that went wrong, the jewels are my happiness, then someone tried to steal them.

Then the police come and it’s all out of control. People screaming and shouting. Everything is going off in different directions. I can’t hear or see myself. I get lost. The other side is peaceful and pretty and makes me feel happy and calm. My feelings change like this sometimes and I can feel angry.”

By allowing Sam to share how they felt, it allowed Lisa to understand what Sam was experiencing; what it felt like to be Sam. With Sam recognising their feelings this allowed Sam to try and put coping strategies in place. These strategies include things like mindfulness techniques. Level Two continue to support Sam with regular sessions.

*Sam’s name has been changed and the sand tray recreated.
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