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Monday 22 October 2018

Brighton Mum Tells Story Of Why She Started A Youth Led Business To Resolve Her Anxiety Issues With Daughter

Local mum of two teenage girls Daisy Creswell has spoken out about how it was her struggles with her own teenage daughter that lead to the founding of her new company Make (Good) Trouble and the project Brighton5.

Brighton5 brings teenagers together to tackle the issues that affect their lives.

Daisy Cresswell said: "Last year, my 13-year-old started displaying behaviour that was really worrying to me. 

"She was always on her devices, she was skipping school – basically our relationship completely broke down. I didn't know what to do.

"She was just doing things that as an adult I didn't understand because I wasn't, as she puts it, "born with a device in my hand".

"Whenever I tried to communicate with her, she would completely shut down. Her bedroom door became like a battleground. 

"If I knocked on it and attempted to go in I felt like I was going to be verbally shot down, and I was. 

"So when you have that barrier between you that is psychological as well as physical, you feel absolutely helpless, desperate and quite terrified as a parent. And then I thought that I had to change this emotional energy into something positive."

Daisy isn't the only parent who is struggling to communicate with her teenagers. 

Local dad William (name changed) expressed similar concerns about his relationship with his teenage son. 

He said teenagers have: "three personalities; one for their friends, one for their parents, and the real one that they feel about themselves. 


"When a child becomes a teenager, it can feel like it happens overnight.

"Their bodies have accelerated like crazy, but their brains are still arrested. 

"They are trying to keep up with an increasingly grown-up life with a child's brain."

Daisy sought help to solve the issues with her relationship with her daughter but found current resources lacking.  

"I went to an 'Anxiety in teens' workshop at the school, who were brilliant, but I realised that they are not only starved of resources, but also what they do have is arguably massively out of touch with what teenagers resonate with. 

"Teens make and watch videos everyday on their mobile phones, so I decided that we need to get teenagers to make video content themselves that tackle teen issues, like self-harm and negative body image, and empower them to think about how to solve the problems for themselves."

Mental health problems and self-harm among teenagers are on the increase and these are just some of the issues that Daisy wants Brighton5 to tackle head-on.

"I confiscated my daughter's devices for three days which was a complete disaster. It was without doubt the worst three days of our relationship to-date. 

"I felt dreadful, and she felt dreadful, as did everyone else in the house. So rather than take the devices away, I thought 'why not actually get them to use them to do something positive?' 

"Why not give teens better kit and get them to make videos that tackle the difficult issues that they face?

"When my eldest daughter was doing her GCSEs and during the summer holidays that followed, there always seemed to be five teens sitting around my kitchen table discussing important issues that were affecting them at the time. 

"I found their company compelling and wonderful – despite some sharing some pretty deep and worrying stuff. I thought, wow! 

"If they were given the right structure and the right tools, they could really help younger teens. That led me to come up with the idea called Brighton5.

"My younger daughter really opened up to them rather than to me as an adult. It was as if my kitchen table had become their safe place. 

"I want to take the metaphor of our kitchen table and give teenagers everywhere a platform to express themselves."

Brighton5 currently has a TV show in development which will showcase the teens' journeys, plus a radio show and podcast.

"Brighton5 is just the beginning. It is a template that we want to roll out nationally – to get older teens to make videos about difficult issues with expert support and in turn help younger teens. 

"We're getting teenagers to use technology and social media for a positive purpose, rather than it be a source of negativity and anxiety. 

"Importantly, we want to prevent parents like me worrying, because during my problems with my daughter I got really desperate - I was a wreck!

"The content we will produce will be published on platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube because that's what teens watch, that's where they are. Plus, we have a parent podcast in the pipeline too.

"We have launched a Crowdfunder to support the project and really mobilise the community. 

"We are raising funds to launch the first phase of films to be tested with our partner schools, colleges and Sussex Police. 

"We need parents, godparents, aunts, uncles and teachers to pledge to the campaign and get more involved. Every penny donated to Brighton5's Crowdfunder will give local teenagers a voice."

The project is looking for the financial support of local parents who are concerned about their own teenagers and want to give them the tools to solve their own problems.

To support Brighton5's Crowdfunder visit: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/brighton5

by: Mike Cobley




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Pic (c) Tony Woolliscroft

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