STAND4 are a group of young people from the west end of Newcastle who, after lockdown, came together to begin KEY+.
Completing Stage 1 and 2 of the programme helped STAND4 forge friendships and strengthen bonds after a long time apart in the pandemic. They experienced a sense of normality as they planned and delivered a programme of fun activities.
After gaining so much from Stage 1 and 2, STAND4 were ready to to make an even bigger impact at Stage 3. With this in mind, the group decided to set up their own community podcast tackling social issues that impact young people. Discussing important topics such as race inequalities, food poverty and educational inequalities, STAND4 secured a host of well-known guests including Newcastle MP, Chi Onwurah. The podcast pushed the group out of their comfort zone and empowered them to be ambitious with their idea, using their voices to discuss issues that mattered most to them.
Sophie, a member of Stand4 said: "The Key enabled us to think about what we want to do. It was really beneficial because it gave us freedom at a time when you really feel like you don't have a lot especially since the pandemic"
STAND4 developed important skills along the way as they planned their time and energy to ensure their recording schedule was manageable around school. They developed their negotiation skills to secure podcast guests and they undoubtedly forged their communication skills as they built rapport with podcast guests, interviewing them in a way that got the conversation flowing.
Key Facilitator, Chloe Sutton, who guided Key Group, Stand4, through their Key journey described her experience of the groups growth and development - "I have seen Stand4 grow throughout their Key Journey. They are so much more confident in themselves. They can critically think and are much more aware of social issues and things that are going on in their community".