Harwich Inspired Youth Action (HIYA) are an award winning group of 11-18 year olds who want to change the image of young people in their community. The group meet fortnightly to organise their own community events, activities and campaigns and all the ideas come from the young people themselves.
HIYA is a really unique opportunity in Harwich and as well as being a fun social activity the members also get to pick up some great skills along the way including:
- Event organisation
- Marketing and PR
- Managing Meetings
When and where?
2nd & 4th Tuesday of the month, 6.00pm - 8.00pm
The Central, Teen Talk, 17 Cliff Road, Dovercourt, Harwich, Essex, CO12 3PP
HIYA's Latest Projects:
The Crime Campaign
We have researched what crimes are happening locally and have made films which can be shared on social media to raise awareness and change attitudes and behaviours. For our first film we had come to the decision to focus our campaign on both the typical and atypical forms of domestic violence. We were aware that domestic violence was on the rise but we wanted to focus our campaign away from the normal perceptions. We did this by keeping both members of the relationship anonymous during the film until the end which shows the victim being the male and the female being the perpetrator, flipping the stereotype on its head.
Our second film was for Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness week. We wanted to raise awareness on the issue as part of the annual #ITSNOTOK awareness week which took place 6th-12th February 2017. As a group we feel extraordinarily pleased with our work and achievement and hope to continue to produce more awareness films in future.
The Christmas Gift Box Project
In December 2016 we carried out our Christmas Gift Box Project for the second year. This time it was on a much larger scale. We put donation boxes in the community to collect items to put in the boxes. We also received a lot of donations from Lesley at the Harwich and Dovercourt Partnership. We did a cake sale to raise money for this as well. During our meetings we sorted out items including make-up, toiletries, food and art and craft. We made up 52 parcels which we then wrapped in cellophane and donated to local community groups such as the Women's Refuge and Food Bank. We made a big hamper that we took to the residents at Lime Court. We feel proud that we contributed to the community and we are happy that we helped people be happier at Christmas.
The Bench Project
In 2016 we worked with the Essex Records Office on their 'You Are Hear' listening bench project. This involved listening to many historic recordings from people living in Harwich throughout the years. These recordings focused on major event topics such as the flood and the war from the different Harwich resident's perspectives. Once we had listened to all of the recorded clips we had the chance to then edit them down to two minute clips. You can now listen to all of the clips by visiting the bench at St Helens Green in Harwich by the Treadwheel Crane. We really enjoyed the experience of using the different computer programmes as well as attending the big final unveiling of the bench on 24th September with Mayoress Mrs Kim Warner.
The Memory Book Project
During 2016 we worked with members of the Harwich Community to gather information about their childhood memories and to see how being a teenager changed over the years. We have made these memories into a series of e-newsletters that were sent out to local residents. You can view all the editions of our memory newsletter here.
The Harwich Hoody Festival
We organised an annual festival for Harwich which ran for 5 years from 2010-2015. The Hoody Festival was a one day entertainment event that aimed to bring the community together to show that not everyone who wears a hoody is bad to mix with and encourage the community to work together. Over the years the festival showcased the talents of young people, featured a battle of the bands competition, dance performances, community stalls, games, competitions and reached around 350 people annually.
The Energy Drinks Campaign
In 2015 we launched a brand new film, 'The World's Worst Energy Drink', which highlights how energy drinks adversely impact the body. We made this film with help from Fixers UK, an organisation that supports young people to tackle the issues important to them and make positive change for themselves and those around them. Our short film is to be shown in schools and it is hoped that by providing information about the possible side effects, this campaign will prompt young people to reduce the quantity they consume.