This week is Children’s Mental Health Week with the theme of ‘Growing Together’.
As this is the case, we wanted to highlight the amazing work our team do encouraging children and young people to choose positive pathways and supporting them to grow into confident and resilient individuals.
HIGH SCHOOL HUBS
Our High School Hub Mentors deliver a wide range of programmes throughout the academic year to support young people with their mental wellbeing. They are based in all eight mainstream high schools in Blackpool, helping a range of students from youngest to oldest.
We offer 1:1 mentoring sessions in schools to support pupils with their confidence, self-esteem, and resilience, whilst giving them the opportunity to set goals and work on their personal development.
High school mentoring, at its core, reassures young people that there is someone who cares about them, letting them know they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter. Each week the students set positive goals with their mentor and strive to move forward using resilience and strength.
A student from Aspire Academy who has had mentoring said, “She makes me believe I am someone”.
Research confirms that quality mentoring relationships have a powerful positive effect on the mental health of young people in a variety of personal and academic situations.
Running alongside this our ‘Premier League Inspires’ offer is a 20-week programme focused on helping young people become more resilient individuals, reduce anxiety and develop coping strategies. We also incorporate relaxation techniques, to support young people through challenging times and exam stress. This programme gets delivered once a week, to selected Year 9 pupils across each high school in Blackpool.
During the programme pupils also get the exciting opportunity to take part in the PL Inspires Challenge, with the winners of the local heats gaining the chance to represent their school at both regional and national events.
Every year a different theme is chosen by the Premier League, and within their inspires sessions, pupils will develop their own social action project and compete against other schools at the club heat here at Bloomfield Road.
We all know bullying can leave children with bumps and bruises. The effects of bullying can be both physical and emotional and they can haunt people for many years. Bullying can result in many ongoing issues, such as depression, that can have ramifications during early years and even adulthood. Bullying can affect anyone, it can happen in schools, online or in a workplace. The internet and online applications have given bullies a new path to go down when targeting their victims. The results of cyber bullying can be tragic, especially to children who can face this every single day through a push of a button.
While bullying can leave children with physical bruises that eventually heal, bullying can also result in some long-term behavioural health problems. Children that experience verbal and physical bullying are at a greater risk of developing depression than children who do not experience bullying. Depression that results from bullying can cause a wide range of symptoms, and in extreme circumstances, bullying induced depression can lead to suicide.
So, to mark Children’s Mental Health Week and to support children experiencing or struggling with bullying, our very own Norry Ascroft went down to one of our PLKicks sessions in Claremont to deliver an anti-bullying talk to our participants. This is a subject he is very passionate about and the young people will benefit greatly from the workshops he delivered.
In partnership with Beaverbrooks, our ‘Enterprise Programme’ focuses on raising aspirations through business. The programme helps young people to develop skills in employability, entrepreneurship, teamwork, and money management. The programme also aims to enhance skills including resilience, confidence, and initiative. Each year, a different topic is chosen by the programme funders which opens up new tasks for the school pupils to complete. By helping to build these skills it can boost the young persons sense of self and give them the confidence to step outside of their comfort zone.
With the main focus of this years Children’s Mental Health Week being on ‘Growing Together’, our PSHE programme Unstoppable helps children grow together through discussions about friendships, relationships and recognising emotions including how these can change over time and impact them either positively or negatively.
Some participants said:
’Unstoppable helped me be a nicer person by showing me how not to be rude and deal with something’
‘It helped me be a bit better as I used to get angry and moody and now, I’ve changed, and I am a lot calmer’
’I like the fact the story being in disabilities and how people cope with them’.
As well as supporting young people in educational settings, we also provide support to the younger generation with our Tiny Tangerines sessions.
Tiny Tangerines sessions give children a chance to explore what’s possible with their bodies and minds.
Our sessions allow players to build their resilience plus challenge themselves physically and mentally in exciting age-appropriate games.
Tiny Tangerine coaches create a fun environment which encourages communication between the young players. New friendships are formed, and social skills gained…all while having the time of their lives.
All of our programmes provide young people with opportunities to learn and thrive, whilst developing vital interpersonal skills such as, listening to others, teamwork, and communication.
FYI: This article was written by a new member of our team, Jack who joins us on an apprenticeship for Business Admin.