“I am writing to thank you very much for the immediate positive impact which the WFC Trust Empower Group has made on Anton.
Just a bit of background, when I saw the Twitter post advertising the group, I thought that it was exactly what Anton needed. Anton did not enjoy the last 6 months or so of primary school because one child slowly isolated him from his friends, and whilst the school agreed that this was ongoing, that it was one-sided, and that it was indeed bullying. Luckily for Anton, whilst he felt isolated at break times, he still managed to keep focused in class, still did brilliantly as a board game leader, helping younger children every lunch time, and still got excellent SATS results.
Anton was keen to attend the course. He loves games and activities, even if he's not able to do all of them well. He just wants to have a go. He loved the course from the minute he attended, and the first thing he said after the first session was "Mum, I made new friends". He's an introvert by nature, so for that to be the first comment, I was impressed! He has loved the course so much, he was reluctant to miss one session when he had his school's France trip! I have seen him appear to almost walk taller after starting the sessions, and although he doesn't discuss much of what he does in the group, he is always smiling after it. That's enough for me!
You have given him opportunities he didn't have at school. He feels that he belongs in this group. He feels listened to. He can just be himself and is valued. And then, you have made his day, choosing him to attend the fun day on the 31st, and then also giving him the responsibility of interviewing job candidates. He is proud of himself. I am proud of him, and we are so grateful to you for the opportunities. He'll never forget this. I know he'll be disappointed when the course finishes. And if there is anything similar in the future, I know he would love to be part of it.”
– Mother of Participant of Empower July 2018
Positive Minds; Education Feedback December 2018:
"I was really impressed with how the project was explained to us and that Watford Community Trust is able to offer such an important outreach project to local schools. Both the presenters/ course leaders were extremely approachable but also extremely well qualified, both reassuring points. My son has already talked to me about the workshop and about the coping mechanisms they have learnt in the sessions at school. To have such a course (and the presentation) available to us is a huge benefit to our children. Linking sports with positive mental health and having strong role models to learn from is such a clever idea, one that I really hope can be rolled out to more primary and secondary schools in Watford in future."
"Watford Community Trust shared vital information about children’s mental health to our parents. It was welcomed and met with keen interest. A parent said ‘I feel so much more confident to talk to my son about mental health now’. Many thanks Ryan and Liam!"
"I'm very much thankful to the Watford Community Trust for their useful workshop on young minds parents information. The programme gave me an insight in to different types of social pressure placed upon kids, importance of detecting mental health problems at the early stages, and how we could support them in such situations, using different scenarios. I hope your wonderful service reaches a wider audience! Thank you"
Debra Higginson (Nascot Wood Junior School) - 'Pearson Teacher of the Year' Silver award winner:
"I thought the whole programme was excellent. I really valued the quality of the delivery: the depth of knowledge and experience that you could offer the boys was far more than I could ever have hoped to achieve.
The programme itself was well constructed and gave the boys an opportunity to think about and discuss issues that they possibly hadn’t identified for themselves – this, to me, is really pivotal. I strongly believe that children, especially boys, can find it difficult to identify the issues that affect them. Families lead very hectic lives and the opportunities for discussion and reassurance can be few and far between. The year 6 children are approaching transfers in schooling and developmentally; these transitions need to be carefully supported as the pressure to fit in is immense.
The more we talk about mental health, the more we can end the stigma that surrounds it. The ‘I didn’t realise anyone else felt this way’ discussions are vitally important.
The session on the Internet/social media is such an important aspect of their future lives, as a society we are only just scratching the surface of the impact on mental health of this emerging technology. The other sessions were all really valuable and set the correct tone of self-awareness and awareness of others.
In conclusion, I feel that the ‘Positive Minds’ workshops have helped not only the children but also the adults, to find a way of discussing mental health proactively, which is a huge step in the right direction."
"Very enthusiastic staff delivering the sessions. They could handle the classes well and responded to their questions with ease and insight. We were very impressed by the delivery of each session (both the staff member and the visual powerpoint).
They were excited by each session and every member of the class contributed to discussions. Positive Minds was a real eye opener to lots of the children and the delivery was expertly done"
Positive Minds; Education feedback from Spring 2018 pilot phase:
“I visited both classes today and was really impressed with the level of engagement and variety of activities planned."
“The Children referred to their previous learning in their folder when explaining what they had learned and were confident discussing mental health issues."
“The lessons have been age appropriate and engaging and children have really benefited from what you have offered.”
– Year 6 & 9 Teachers
• “It's been really fun. I've learned about resilience and how to talk to people about mental health issues.”
• “I love having my work in my own folder because it is private from everyone else.”
• “I liked the anxiety activity because I'd heard the word but now I understand what it means.”
– Year 6 Students