A Mayo school was honoured at the Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland (YSI) Awards for its positive impact in helping to create a more equal, fair and sustainable world.
Picking up the Make Our World Healthier - Physical Health Award, supported by the HSE, a team from St. Mary’s Secondary School, Ballina, was recognised for its Social Reflection YSI project. The St. Mary’s team was passionate about promoting body positivity and healthy body image in society. The team’s campaign tagline was, "The way you speak to your body affects the way I look at mine".
The team hosted a range of different activities to raise awareness of the importance of body positivity and encourage change around how people speak about and look at their bodies. The team conducted a survey on body image in their school community and local area to identify the reasons behind the issue and what could be done to combat it. The team held a Body Positivity Week in school during which body positive posters were displayed in the corridors and body positive quotes were written on mirrors. The team also held an activity day during which they set up four zones: an interview station, a walking debate, a compliment circle and a positive note section.
Going forward, the team plans to continue promoting body positivity among all age groups in an effort to change the negative mindset that many people have around body image.
Now in its 21st year, YSI focuses on empowering Ireland’s young people to re-imagine the world and the communities they live in, by developing and implementing ideas that help create a fairer, more equal and sustainable world.
This year’s programme saw participation from more than 6,000 Irish teenagers from 209 schools