At Young Friends General Meeting held at Nottingham Friends Meeting House from 17-19 October 2014, young Friends considered two concerns that had been brought before the meeting by members.
The first of these was on the issue of Trident, the UK’s nuclear weapons programme. Opposing nuclear weapons, and in particular opposing the renewal of the Trident system, has been an issue of personal concern for many YFGM members for some time, and at YFGM in Nottingham we resolved to adopt this as a corporate concern, and to campaign against Trident renewal as a community, particularly in advance of the General Election in 2015.
The other concern is one that affects many YFGMers on a personal level. Young Friends General Meeting has long taken an interest in mental wellbeing, including within our own community, in the wider Quaker community, and in society in general. In recent years we have seen mental health and mental wellbeing as regular topics for special interest groups at YFGMs, and in August 2014 YFGM ran a weekend event on the topic ‘Our Minds, Our Community’, allowing young Friends to explore issues around mental health and mental wellbeing. By adopting mental wellbeing as a corporate concern, we hope to work with renewed strength as a community to support and promote mental wellbeing within YFGM and beyond it.
Friends aged between 18 and 30ish who are interested in getting involved in either of these concerns are encouraged to contact email@example.com
Young Friends General Meeting is the national community for young Friends aged 18-30ish in Britain.
Minute 2014.18 Concern Arising: Mental Wellbeing
We have heard from Becky Riddell about a concern for mental wellbeing arising. This concern has been steadily growing within YFGM’s community for some time, reflected in special interest groups, speakers, YF(GM Free)s and above all the energy and enthusiasm of YFGM members.
As young Friends we can lead by example, and feel the time is right to stand up and say to the world – ‘this is important.’ We recognise that YFGM can nourish the mental wellbeing of all its members and feel a duty to further this within YFGM and in the outside world. Our spirit of loving, non-judgmental support offers something unique. We are excited at the prospect of the impact we could make in raising mental wellbeing in the social and political agenda.
We agree to adopt mental wellbeing as a concern. We recognise that where we take this concern will require careful discernment, being aware that the actions we take affect our own mental wellbeing. We ask nominations committee to nominate a working group at YFGM in February 2015, to consider this and bring ideas to future YFGMs. We envisage that the terms of reference of this group will be finalised as the structure of their activities becomes more defined.
We thank Becky Riddell and all those who have helped to bring this concern for their hard work so far.
Minute 2014.19 Concern Arising: UK Nuclear Weapons
Hannah Brock brought the concern of nuclear disarmament, significantly highlighting the opportunity we have leading up to the 2015 general election, of influencing decisions about the renewal of Trident.
We are acutely aware that as members of YFGM we represent the future of Quakers in Britain. With this in mind we have a responsibility to own and future generations to take the opportunity to try as hard as we can to create the world in which we want to live. We have a chance to have a tangible impact on our futures and to live our faith.
We adopt this concern as YFGM and ask Hannah Brock to convene a working group to consider ideas and actions. Due to the time constraints on this issue we recognise that this group will be self-selecting from this meeting and will be minuted at February YFGM.
We thank Hannah Brock and other friends for their work so far.
At Young Friends General Meeting held at Bournemouth Friends Meeting House from 19-21 February 2016, the mental wellbeing concern group asked YFGM for permission to conduct a review of YFGM’s processes and how it impacts members’ mental wellbeing. This proposal was accepted (see below).
Minute 2016.05 Mental Wellbeing Survey Proposal
We have heard a report from Rachel Evans, Jenny Baines and Ellen Elliott covering the activities of the Mental Wellbeing Working Group up to now, and their current thinking, which we attach to these minutes.
A preliminary survey taken at YFGM in York found a great number of examples of ways in which YFGM supports our mental wellbeing, as well as highlighting the fact that sometimes YFGM can challenge our mental wellbeing.
The working group have proposed carrying out a more in-depth survey with case studies, focused on how YFGM processes and procedures affect members’ mental wellbeing. Details of what is proposed and what is still to be worked out are attached to these minutes.
We endorse this proposal, and are grateful for the opportunity to explore these issues. We recognise that we are not certain where this process will lead, but are hopeful that YFGM can provide a safe space for learning to happen, which may ripple out beyond YFGM. We thank the committee for all their work on this proposal.