Erne Integrated College
Mr Sean Murphy, English Teacher at Erne Integrated College, Enniskillen, remarked after the Uberheroes® facilitators visited the school
Students of Erne Integrated College were delighted to have been involved in the Uberheroes project from the very beginning. This is a unique and innovative idea which foregrounds the problems that young people face and tackles the taboo aspect of these issues head-on. Our Year 9 students were thrilled with the idea of using “superheroes” to personify the challenges that our young people face and the cartoon element of the work carries real cultural currency which resonates with our students.
By “outing” the problems that young people face, students are much freer to express themselves, to ask for help or simply see that their problems are problems that are faced by many of their peers – they are not alone. The candid, no-nonsense approach which explodes the taboos has been cathartic for our students and they have found the focus on well-being and positive approaches to mental health to be liberating. The Uberheroes publication cuts across many curriculum areas such as art, English and Literature (through story-telling), areas of Home Economics and personal development. Through the workshops our students acted a focus group and were given the opportunity to shape the end product. One of students remarked that, this was the first time they had ever been consulted about a product or initiative that affected them directly – they placed great stock on inclusion and the consultative aspect of the project.
Students also commented that the quality of the Uberheroes publication was so professional that they felt that their concerns had been taken very seriously and that they had been listened to. A number of students even commented that the introduction in the comic was very empowering and made them feel that their voice was important. They noted that the stories featured in the comics were based on real events and were enthused to hear that the writers and artists involved were just a few years older than themselves.
We very much look forward to working with Dee and her team in the future and would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all at hope4life.ni on the incredible work that they are doing for our young people.