'Impactful' School Youth Roadshow is back for its second year


Impact23 School Roadshow

Dover District Council is taking the lead in talking with the district’s young people about the importance of how we communicate with one another, and its impact on our mental health.

Following the success of last year, the Dover District Youth Conference will run as a roadshow again in 10 different secondary schools in Dover, Deal and Sandwich from 26-30 June 2023.

Year eight students will be invited to explore all the different ways they communicate and consider whether those communications are as relevant and meaningful as they could be.

IMPACT stand for ‘I’m making positive action choices today’. The sessions will convey essential and positive messages concerning mental health, and will encourage young people to support each other and build their personal resilience through the choices they make.

Two guest speakers, Nick Evans from Roads to Freedom CIC and Kerry Rusk from the Breck Foundation, will share powerful stories of addiction, homelessness, relationships, and grooming. They will acknowledge how the internet is an essential part of daily life now and discuss using it safely and knowledgeably.

There will also be supporting entertainment from talented local musician Jake St Ange.

Students will have a chance to browse stalls from local clubs that always welcome new members including boxing, weightlifting, music, arts and crafts. Support agencies, including Kooth, Early Help, Kent Police, and DDC’s Community Development Team, will offer topical information to take away. Trained counsellors will also be on hand along with the schools’ own pastoral care teams.

A ‘power hour’ will be embraced by all who have participated in the event on Friday 30 June at 7pm. Everyone will be encouraged to use this time to come offline and take part in other activities.

Nick Evans, recovering addict and community substance misuse worker, said: “As an addict who is now in recovery, my passion now is supporting others who are going through similar experiences, and empowering all young people to make informed choices. I aim to reduce the stigma around addiction and show that people can change and turn their lives around. Most importantly, I talk about the importance of wellbeing and offer coping strategies to anyone who may need that extra help.”

Kerry Rusk, representing the Breck Foundation, said: “With 98% of young people now active internet users, current and future generations grow up having to navigate new and evolving digital dangers. Our priority is to help them develop the resilience and skills they need to live, play and thrive online in safety.” 

Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Community, Cllr Charlotte Zosseder, said: “There are many more communications channels open to us than ever before, and yet we seem to communicate less with each other. Meaningful communication and friendships matter and have a positive impact on our mental health. This roadshow was really popular last year, and we are looking forward to connecting with this year’s Year 8 students across our district’s schools. The ‘power hour’ will encourage young people to switch off from their phones and social media and connect with others in person.”

Notes to editors:

Nick Evans is in recovery, and he works in the community supporting others. He has experienced addiction, criminality and homelessness and speaks from the heart about his own journey. www.roadstofreedom.org.uk

The Breck Foundation was founded in 2014 in response to the tragic loss of Breck Bednar, a 14-year-old boy who was groomed and murdered by someone he met online. Our work aims to prevent this from ever happening again. Our work saves lives. www.breckfoundation.org

Jake St Ange studied at Sir Roger Manwoods, Canterbury College and Bristol University. A talented musician, he is now forging a successful music career


www.kooth.com online mental wellbeing community - free, safe, and anonymous support

www.talktofrank.com honest information about drugs



Posted on 26 June 2023

For media enquiries, Email: pr@dover.gov.uk