YMCA Walthamstow True Colours 900x600 - True Colours - A YMCA Walthamstow Youth Project

21 October 2022

True Colours is an Arts and wellbeing programme, with youth-led discussions, to help teens feel supported with their mental health.

Taking place at YMCA Walthamstow, this programme welcomes female identifying and LGBTQ+ teens aged 10-16. The programme aims to give young people a safe space to express themselves through movement, art and creative writing, where they can feel authentically themselves.

The True Colours sessions look at themes of loneliness, mental health awareness and connection. They provide a space for young people to share and feel supported by their friends.

The young people produced this film, documenting their experiences with the True Colours programme. They invited friends and family to a viewing, where they presented the film, along with demonstrating art work and creative expressions of their experiences. The evening finished with an interesting audience discussion around the themes explored by the group.

True colours doesn’t just represent this group of young people, it represents the way we should look at life. The many emotions we go through, in a day, in an hour. The many genders and sexualities, neurodiversity, culture. And just personalities. True colours is actually authentically being you.

Katie Fotis, Youth Worker & True Colours Programme Lead

Movement is an integral part of true colours, alongside art and words, to express feelings and emotions. Yoga and breathing techniques also form part of the programme.

Being expressive through creativity is a therapeutic process. Sometimes we don’t have the words… let the art talk! Connect to yourself and others through your art.

Katie Fotis, Youth Worker & True Colours Programme Lead

Two young people from the group took part in a training course to become wellbeing ambassadors.

It means a lot. It’s made me express myself more, it’s been very fun, I’ve made new friends.

True Colours group member

The True Colours youth programme is funded by @london_youth, with a big thanks to Charlotte Bawden, Lauren Dowse, Yanire Sylva Delgado and Stella Taliadoros.

This film was produced by the young people and @imlosttoo.

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