“If a young person has the knowledge on how to deal with an issue they have those skills for life” - Support charity Respect Yourself creating new Twitter page to help struggling Norfolk teenagers

Respect Yourself charity founder Claire Burke from Hethersett. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Respect Yourself charity founder Claire Burke from Hethersett. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Teenagers and young adults in Norfolk will be able to get instant access to practical and emotional support through a new social media project.

The Respect Yourself charity, set up by Claire Burke, of Hethersett, is aimed at people aged 13-25 and tackles a range of issues from mental health, including self-harm and eating disorders, to problems faced at school including coping with dyslexia.

It started out in September 2011 with a text messaging advice service, which has since stopped. The charity now runs a Twitter page, website and smartphone app.

These online services offer links to charities offering support and inspirational stories of people who have survived issues facing young people.

The charity will be launching a dedicated Respect Yourself Norfolk Twitter page in the next few weeks, followed by a new Respect Yourself Facebook page.


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Mrs Burke was inspired to set up the charity after helping her then 15-year-old half brother Adam Faulkner, who moved from Burton upon Trent to Norfolk nine years ago after getting involved with gangs.

She said: 'Everyday my husband and I would send Adam a text message and we thought if we could help Adam we could help other young people.

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'At Respect Yourself we work together with other charities. We are like a family. We are telling young people where to go for help.

'I want to know that people are talking about issues because if we are not talking about them that is when problems happen.

'The information via the Respect Yourself Twitter page goes straight into young people's hands. It makes sense to use the technology.'

Mrs Burke, 44, added: 'It is about self development. We are helping people who are struggling. If a young person has the knowledge on how to deal with an issue they have those skills for life.'

The mother-of-two, who has a 12-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl, said she is 'passionate' about the charity and sees things through young people's eyes.

As well as the main @RespectYourself Twitter page there are separate Twitter pages for young people in Yorkshire, Dorset and Kent.

For more information visit www.respectyourself.org.uk where you can download the Respect Yourself app.

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