MRKH Connect are delighted to be able to offer our Youth Program into 2023 thanks to funding from the National Lottery Community Fund. This program was piloted in 2022 and is still the first of its kind in our community. It has been designed for those diagnosed with MRKH that are aged between 16-23 years old. The program is led by our peer Youth Leader Cerys who was a participant in 2022. You can learn more about Cerys in Meet the Team.
The program runs online over 6 sessions over 6 consecutive weeks. The first program of this year starts 16th May and finished on 20th June. Each session will be 1.5 – 2 hours where 1-1.5 hours and will incorporate group activities, self reflection and engagement. The remaining time will be for optional and relaxed social engagement together as a group. Each session starts at 6pm UK time (GMT+1). If you miss the first program of 6 sessions, don’t worry, the second program in 2023 will be September and then the final program will run in November 2023, each program follows the same model of 6 sessions over 6 weeks.
The program is being offered free of charge and is fully funded by MRKH Connect thanks to a National Lottery Community fund grant.
Who can apply?
This program is open to anyone diagnosed with MRKH aged between 16-23 years old from UK who are able to commit to the times and dates of this program. If you are not from the UK but would like to join this program we still encourage you to register but priority will be given to those in the UK in support of the National Lottery funding we have received to fund this program in 2023.
Please note that places are limited and all registrations will be reviewed before your place is confirmed.
How might this program benefit me?
We want all participants to get the most out of this program whilst also feeling informed, connected and supported by others. Here are some of the benefits we anticipate this program will offer for those participating.
Being part of this program could help you:
- Move towards a better acceptance of MRKH.
- Help you develop strategies to set personal and meaningful goals.
- Improve wellbeing.
- Build confidence and enhance a sense of entitlement when seeking loving and fulfilling relationships.
- Create social support networks.
- Make new friends who understand you and empathise with the MRKH diagnosis.
- Engage with existing social networks more confidently.
How much do I need to commit to?
If you sign up to the program you are committing your time (as much as possible) to attend all 6 sessions and participate in them in a group setting. Each session includes both learning activities as well as practical tools to allow for self exploration and reflection along with activities to do in your own time before the next session.
As this is a group program we encourage engagement and participation from all who attend, to ensure you maximise the benefit from this program. However, we also appreciate that this can be a bit daunting. We do encourage all participants to have their cameras on and participate as much as possible to get the most benefit from the program.
This program is not designed or intended for any participant to feel the need to publicly disclose their MRKH diagnosis (or thoughts and feelings associated with it) but to feel more empowered despite the challenges associated with MRKH. The tools and exercises in the program are designed to be creative, engaging and self exploratory and most of all fun.
We ask those opting to participate in this program, to carefully evaluate your time commitments prior to application. Whilst we understand the demands of daily life, such as work and study, spots are limited. With this in mind, we ask you to value this opportunity as unfortunately, not every application can be accepted due to interest.
What else do I need to know about the program?
It is important to state that this is NOT therapy but an educational program that is peer facilitated. Our Youth Leader is a peer facilitator and not a professional youth worker, her understanding of the program (as a participant herself in 2022) and under the support of a “train the trainer” approach is there to support and drive the conversation in the Youth Program.
There is a screening process for this program to ensure that all who take part are able to get the most benefit from this program. For some, this program may not be suitable, and if this is the case for any who express interest, then recommendations will be made to the individual so they can make a decision as to what is an alternative source of support. This might include recommendations such as other support mechanisms or specialist services which might be more appropriate.
MRKH Connect takes confidentiality very seriously. Sessions will not be recorded and no information will be shared publicly on who is participating in this program. We also ask that all those participating respect each other and do not share any personal details of any other participants, their stories or anything they share whilst undertaking this program.
Whilst MRKH Connect cannot control or censor information shared by participants a statement of confidentiality will be announced at the start of each session as a friendly reminder. Any disrespectful behaviour towards another participant or the organisers (including sharing confidential information) will not be tolerated.
All personal information will be retained by MRKH Connect in the same way it manages its Members Area and in line with its Safeguarding protocols. Participant information will not be shared with any third party. There will be the option to join a WhatsApp group with other participants where updates on the program will be provided by the Peer Youth leader. MRKH Connect will be overseeing the program and all engagement and arranging each session for participants. 1 MRKH Connect team member (who also have MRKH) will be present at each session to ensure safeguarding and to provide additional support to participants and the Youth leader as needed.
How do I sign up?
Follow the link to register your interest, this form includes some screening questions as well. Once approved all prospective attendees will be invited to a session with the Connect team to ensure you are happy with what the program is and how it will work and to give you the chance to meet others ahead of the program start. The screening questions will request some information about your age, diagnosis, what you want to get from the program etc, all of which will be necessary for us to ensure that this program is right for you and that you, and all those participating feel as comfortable as possible. We hope you understand why we take these steps.