Fixers works with young people aged 16-25 by providing professional resources to help them campaign on issues they feel strongly about. Since 2008, more than 23,000 young people have become fixers and created in excess of 2,200 projects. With a £7.2 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund, Fixers has extended from England into Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. We caught up with Army teen Kayley Walton (pictured above) to find out how she’s benefited…
SEVENTEEN-year-old Kayley has been on the move all her life. Her dad is in the Army and over the years she has moved six times to four different locations. But Kayley is celebrating the positive side and has made a booklet and a film to support other young people from military families who find themselves packing up and saying goodbye.
“I wanted to let others know that change is a good thing because there are so many people struggling with change and I know how it feels to experience those changes,” she said.
“In the moment that you’re going through these changes, you don’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel. I wanted to remind military young people that there will always be something positive that will come from it, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.”
Kayley got involved with Fixers as she felt it was a suitable platform to get the message out: “The staff were fantastic to work with and their website had so many success stories that I felt confident others would hear my message.”
Kayley worked with other military kids, including Jack Roberts (17), to prepare advice for peers facing a move, including tips on making moving less stressful and how to settle in at a new school.
Jack said: “I got involved with Fixers through my local youth centre. I joined to help out in the community.
“We wanted to get across that change can be positive because it allows you to experience new activities and lifestyles you may not have thought about. I hope all children not just military children can take something away from our broadcast.
“Support is everywhere no matter where you are. It’s not all doom and gloom and moving always opens new doors – closing many in our wake, but they remain open as memories.”
Kayley hopes the film and resources produced will guide military children through moves and make postings less daunting.
She advises that all military youngsters aim to learn more about the area they will be moving to. “Remember you’ve done this before, draw on what you know helped you previously.
“For older children, I advise joining a club, keeping up with your education and never changing yourself just to make new friends.”
There are lots of stories from young people on fixers.org.uk and social media.