'Mental Health' - a vlog by Aman


As part of the summer activities commissioned by HeadStart to Positive Participation Ltd, they ran a competition for young people to produce a video on mental health.

Aman was involved in the activities organised by Positive Participation Ltd, including undertaking work experience and helping out with the launch of the HeadStart Base at the Bob Jones Community Hub. Through his involvement, he heard about the competition and decided to put together a video on mental health which he researched and produced.

In his video, Aman shares his thoughts on good and bad mental health, and what young people can do to support themselves. He also shares his concerns about the stigma surrounding the sharing of feelings and mental health issues in the Punjabi community, and describes how Positive Participation are working in Wolverhampton to break down that stigma and support members of the Asian community in the city.

His video was judged as the best in the competition and he received first prize at a special ceremony organised to showcase his work. The prize was presented jointly by Mai Gibbons, Contracts Manager for HeadStart and Gurbax Kaur, Director of Positive Participation Ltd.

Watch Aman's great vlog below:

HeadStart Team head to London for #HeadStartLearning: a day of learning and sharing ... and a meeting with HRH The Duchess of Cambridge!

Additional details and photos added on 12th Jan.

During the #HeadStartLearning conference, a number of young people working with or for HeadStart Wolverhampton, including HeadStart Ambassadors Crissie and Hannah, Assistant Young Person Engagement Coordinator, Fran Turner, and HeadStart Marketing and Comms Apprentice, Emerson Morris, all met with Her Royal Highness The Duchess Of Cambridge to share with her their thoughts and experiences on supporting the mental well-being of their peers.

Her Royal Highness was so lovely, and so humble. She was really interested
in the work we do.
— Sunita Pallan-Jhalli, HeadStart Senior Young Person Engagement Coordinator

Head of Service, Kevin Pace, and Senior Young Person Engagement Coordinator Sunita Pallan Jhalli, also shared with The Duchess the learning that has come from the HeadStart Wolverhampton programme so far, and presented her with a framed copy of 'Bright', a poem written for HeadStart by Megan Williams, another of our Ambassadors.

Click image to see full-size

Selected Tweets

(Posted 11th Jan, 2018)

Today, young people and staff from HeadStart Wolverhampton and the City of Wolverhampton Council are down in London at Amnesty International HQ for the #HeadStartLearning conference: “Improving Young People’s Mental Resilience and Well-being: Learning from HeadStart”.

The conference, organised by Big Lottery and national evaluation partner the Anna Freud Centre for Children and Families, will showcase what has been learned so far through HeadStart work nationally, with contributions from HeadStart leads in the six partnerships (Blackpool, Cornwall, Hull, Newham, Kent, and, of course, Wolverhampton), including our Head of Service, Kevin Pace (@kevinpace7). A stellar cast of keynote speakers from academia, including  Dr. Jessice Deighton, Professor Michael Ungar, and Professor Neil Humphrey will also share their expertise and research findings with delegates.

In her keynote, Dr. Deighton will share initial findings from a survey of over 30,000 Year 7 and Year 9 students across all six HeadStart areas. You can view her team's report here:

Young people themselves, are, of course, at the centre of HeadStart, and young people from the six partnerships, including Crissie and Hannah, two of our HeadStart Ambassadors, will participate in a young person’s panel this afternoon.

Very excitingly, Francesca Turner, the youngest of the HeadStart Young Person Engagement Team, will co-compère the event. Congratulations Fran!

There is also a very special VIP in attendance! (Even more VIP than you, Fran, sorry ...). HRH The Duchess Of Cambridge is attending the conference.

Tweets from the event are being shared using the hashtag #HeadStartLearning, and will appear automatically below.

We’ll share more details and photos soon. 

Emerson. Fran and Tara begin their journey

Hannah and Crissie, HeadStart Ambassadors

Meeting the Duchess


New for 2018! Weekly CAMHS drop-in sessions for young people and parents in Low Hill, Bushbury, Heath Town and Eastfield

Wolverhampton CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service), in partnership with HeadStart, will be holding weekly drop in workshops for young people aged between 10 and 16 and parents living within the following areas:

  • Low Hill, Scotlands and Bushbury South (HeadStart Area A)
  • Heath Town, Park Village, Eastfield, Springfield and Old Heath (HeadStart Area B)

The workshops will be held every Thursday from 3.30pm-5.00pm at the Gem Centre in Wolverhampton:

The Gem Centre
Neachells Lane
WV11 3PG

The purpose of the workshops is for young people and parents to meet with members of the CAMHS support team, including HeadStart CAMHS Link Worker Lucy Atkins.

Come along to get more information on common mental health difficulties, get advice and guidance on child and adolescent mental health, and take away useful self-help materials and strategies.

Please note: these workshops are drop-ins. There is no need to book places.



The Gem Centre

New date announced - please book now! Free SUMO training for Wolverhampton voluntary sector staff, parents and partner agencies

Important update (10/01/18):

All places for the afternoon session have now been booked. Places are still available for the evening session at 5:30pm. Book here.

HeadStart is delighted to invite Wolverhampton voluntary sector staff and volunteers, parents, and partner agencies (local authority, police, fire service, social housing, employment providers, NHS / CCG) to a free SUMO training event. Spaces are limited so please book early.

Ed Hollamby from SUMO will be delivering two 'Introduction to SUMO' sessions on Thursday 18th January 2018 at 1.30pm, and 5.30pm, at the Molineux Stadium.

Two sessions are available in order to be accessible to as many people as possible working in our communities.

What is SUMO?

SUMO is a practical approach in dealing with change, developing resilience, increasing engagement, inspiring others and building better relationships.

How can SUMO help in your organisation / community?

SUMO has been used extensively around the world by equipping people with the insights, inspiration and practical tools to achieve better results in life while having fun in the process.

It’s an acronym that, depending on the context, can stand for ‘Shup Up, Move on’ or ‘Stop, Understand, Move On'. Interestingly, in Latin, SUMO can mean ‘to choose and at the heart of it is a desire to help people make wise and better choices – not only in their professional lives but personal too.

Across our HeadStart areas, teachers and children in our Headstart schools are receiving SUMO training. In order to raise more resilient young people we want to also provide this training to parents and organisations working in our four target areas. 

What to expect from the training:

  • Ed will be providing an overview of the principles of SUMO and how this can be used in a community context.
  • Following the training Headstart will be working on an ongoing basis with any organisations interested in using SUMO in their service delivery.

Target audiences:

  • Voluntary and community groups who work with children / young people (10 – 16 years) / parents from HeadStart Wolverhampton areas.
  • Partner agencies involved in HeadStart Wolverhampton areas (Local authority, Police, Fire Service, Social Housing, Employment Providers, NHS / CCG colleagues etc)
  • Parent Champions / Parent Governors / Parents from Wolverhampton

For more information on SUMO please visit www.thesumoguy.com

Book your place online

To attend the training, you must book your places online. Two sessions are available to book:

  • Afternoon Session 1.30pm – 4pm (ALL PLACES NOW TAKEN)
  • Evening Session 5.30pm – 8pm

Please forward this on to anyone you think may be interested. We look forward to seeing you there!

Press Release: Successful commissioned organisations for new HeadStart Wolverhampton services announced

(Taken from a press release from City of Wolverhampton Council and HeadStart Wolverhampton - http://www.wolverhampton.gov.uk/article/11827/Successful-bidders-for-new-HeadStart-services-announced)

The organisations which will provide a range of new activities for young people and their families through the pioneering HeadStart Wolverhampton scheme have been announced.

After being successful in a tendering process, three locally-based groups will deliver programmes designed to help improve the mental health and wellbeing of 10 to 16-year-olds in the four key HeadStart target areas of Wolverhampton.

The activities will be based on the themes of Place to Go, Work with Parents and HeadStart Newshounds:

  • Place to Go will offer drop-in facilities at which young people can access trusted adults, including youth workers, on a voluntary basis to inspire them to learn new skills and extend their friendship networks.
  • Work with Parents will offer a range of activities for parents and carers to encourage good behaviour, support learning at home, and encourage stronger bonds with their children, their school, other parents and carers and the local community.
  • HeadStart NewsHounds will involve young people in the creation of engaging, accessible information and media content for their peers, parents and carers, and professionals, available through the HeadStart website and social media channels. Content will be designed to encourage dialogue about emotional and mental wellbeing and address the stigma around mental health issues.

Bushbury Hill Estate Management Board was selected to deliver Place to Go and Work with Parents activities in Low Hill, Scotlands and Bushbury South. YMCA Black Country Group will provide Place to Go and Work with Parents activities in Heath Town, Park Village, Eastfield, Springfield and Old Heath, as well as in All Saints, Blakenhall, Parkfields and Ettingshall. Gazebo Theatre in Education will run Place to Go and Work with Parents activities in Bilston East.

In addition, Gazebo Theatre in Education was selected to lead HeadStart Newshounds activities across all four of the target areas.

The total awarded to the three organisations is approximately £1.4 million, and is part of the Big Lottery Fund's award of £9.47m to HeadStart Wolverhampton.

The selection of the three successful organisations followed a rigorous procurement process designed to identify organisations with a proven ability to deliver creative, innovative interventions with young people and with their parents and carers ..

.. it is particularly pleasing that the successful bids came from three local organisations, demonstrating the fantastic quality of service providers we have here in the City of Wolverhampton
— Councillor Val Gibson, City Of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People

Councillor Val Gibson, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "The selection of the three successful organisations followed a rigorous procurement process designed to identify organisations with a proven ability to deliver creative, innovative interventions with young people and with their parents and carers.

"The HeadStart programme aims to support the emotional well-being and resilience of 10-16 year olds; these new programmes will play a critical part of realising this ambition and we are delighted to be working with Gazebo Theatre in Education, YMCA Black Country and the Bushbury Hill Estate Management Board to deliver them.

"It is particularly pleasing that the successful bids came from three local organisations, demonstrating the fantastic quality of service providers we have here in the City of Wolverhampton."

She added: "I would like to thank all the organisations, big and small, who submitted applications and took part in the tendering process, and to remind those that were unsuccessful on this occasion that there will be further opportunities to play a part in the HeadStart Wolverhampton programme in the coming months and years."

Representatives from Gazebo Theatre in Education, YMCA Black Country and the Bushbury Hill Estate Management Board will now complete an induction process before their services for young people and parents and carers go live in the four HeadStart areas in early January.

More details of the new programmes will be available on the HeadStart Wolverhampton website at www.headstartonline.co.uk in due course.

HeadStart Wolverhampton, funded through The Big Lottery Fund, is a “test and learn” programme designed to improve the resilience and emotional well-being of children and young people aged 10 to 16 by giving them the skills they need to cope with life’s challenges. To find out more about HeadStart, please visit www.headstartonline.co.uk, follow @headstartfm on Twitter or follow HeadStart on Facebook at www.facebook.com/headstartfm.

  • In the last few weeks, HeadStart has launched a new Support and Guidance site at http://support.headstartonline.co.uk to direct young people, parents and carers, and professionals, to selected resources to support mental wellbeing in young people.