To help children and young people identify who they can turn to if they need support, advice or make a disclosure, try out this 'support cloud' activity.
1: Empowering and challenging: Reflect with children and young people on how and why exploring sensitive issues can be tough. It might feel empowering and challenging. Discuss how the activity you are about to do might bring up issues or feelings that they hadn’t expected. They also might want to talk to someone about how they are feeling.
2: Identifying Support: As a whole-group, invite children and young people to name all the people they would go to if they were worried about themselves or another person. Fill in the gaps for children who don’t know. Discuss what they can do if they think that someone is in immediate harm or danger.
3: My Support Cloud: Hand out the Support Clouds (or they can draw their own). Invite children and young people to identify at least 5 trusted people they can talk to if they want help and support on something and write the names inside the cloud. Ensure that no personal names are used (e.g. my aunty, my teacher, my best friend). As an extension activity, children and young people can include places, objects or animals that make them feel safe and secure.
4: Making Support Matter: Hand out the scissors, string and coat hangers. Invite children and young people to decorate their cloud (e.g. colour in, sprinkle with glitter etc) cut it out, and make a hole in the top. Thread the string through the hole.
5: Making (a) Support Mobile: Create a small mobile from the clothes-hangers (e.g. by linking each hanger underneath each other). Invite each person to come and tie their support cloud to the mobile. As a group, decide where the support cloud mobile might go. Reflect on how it can act as a visual reminder for how, why and where children and young people can seek additional support and advice.