Year 8 and 9 get ‘Work Ready’ at Moreton School with Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner Ashley Bertie

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HeadStart is encouraging local school students to get Work Ready in a new employability programme aiming to enthuse, engage and inspire young people.

The HeadStart team have delivered an excellent range of motivating and confidence building programmes and have really engaged with the students. I was also grilled by mini Jeremy Paxmans for their podcast on policing and community safety. The students really rose to the occasion!
— Ashley Bertie, Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner, West Midlands

Work Ready targets young people who may need additional support to ensure they develop self-confidence and high aspirations. The 6-part programme is delivered over two years in HeadStart secondary schools.

Sharlie Morais, HeadStart Placement Officer based in the Connexions Team, is leading the Work Ready programme. Sharlie helps young people identify the key skills and qualities required for success in any career. Sharlie delivers aspirational workshops, designed to inspire passion and support young people to visualise and plan their pathway to success.

In addition to a range of fun career-focused activities, local employers are invited to speak to students about their career journey. 

On 6th February, Moreton School students met the Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands. Ashley Bertie works alongside the Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson, to set the priorities for policing in our area, decide on the budgets for West Midlands Police and challenge the Chief Constable and police leadership to continually improve local policing.

Ashley asked the students to identify and discuss the core skills, qualities and behaviours required in his challenging role in public service. He listened carefully as they shared their experiences of police work in the city and their ideas for improving the lives and safety of young people. The students then challenged Ashley with some tough questions of their own. You can listen to Ashley’s interview in the podcast available below:

Thanks to Ashley for visiting Moreton to share both his experiences and inspirational words.

Look out for more about the Work Ready programme on the HeadStart website soon!

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Video and press release: City’s young people urge MPs to support emotional wellbeing

Video: join Keisha, Anoopjit, David and Cristina from HeadStart Wolverhampton on their House of Commons adventure.

Press release below modified from City Of Wolverhampton Council: original link here

HeadStart Ambassador Cristina discussing young people’s mental health support at the Parliamentary event.

HeadStart Ambassador Cristina discussing young people’s mental health support at the Parliamentary event.

Young people from HeadStart Wolverhampton travelled to Westminster to highlight the need for support around children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Young people and representatives from HeadStart Wolverhampton met with MPs and government officials in a learning event, organised by The National Lottery Community Fund on Tuesday 5 February, which was designed to celebrate the ground-breaking work of the HeadStart programme across the country.

Mini Ambassadors Keisha (12), Anoopjit (13), and David (13), talked to MPs about some of the support available in Wolverhampton, and their own experiences with HeadStart.

Also in attendance was HeadStart Ambassador Cristina Wilde, who has worked with HeadStart Wolverhampton since the start of the programme and is now training to become a mental health nurse.

Cristina said: “HeadStart is a really important part of our community. It’s all about the young people, with activities designed specifically for them. I feel really privileged to be a part of the HeadStart programme and, as an Ambassador, I have been able to influence the support offered across the city.”

About the parliamentary event, Cristina added: “Mental health support for young people is so important. It was great to speak with MPs and other officials about the amazing work we do in Wolverhampton and how we can build on this in the future.

“Mental health affects everyone and it’s important that support for young people is readily available. I’m excited to see what happens next, and how we can continue to support young people and remove the stigma attached to mental health.”

HeadStart is a really important part of our community. It’s all about the young people, with activities designed specifically for them. I feel really privileged to be a part of the HeadStart programme and, as an Ambassador, I have been able to influence the support offered across the city.
— Cristina Wilde, HeadStart Ambassador
David, Anoopjit and Keisha speak to professionals at the event

David, Anoopjit and Keisha speak to professionals at the event

Councillor Paul Sweet, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, added “The HeadStart programme, working in partnership with City of Wolverhampton Council, voluntary groups and other services across the city, has made great strides in embedding emotional wellbeing support in all aspects of a young person’s life.

“The National Lottery Community Fund’s learning event was a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of all the good work going on in Wolverhampton to a wider audience. It’s wonderful to see our young people engaging with MPs to discuss the importance of mental health support.”

The HeadStart programme, working in partnership with City of Wolverhampton Council, voluntary groups and other services across the city, has made great strides in embedding emotional wellbeing support in all aspects of a young person’s life.
— Councillor Paul Sweet
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HeadStart Wolverhampton, part of a £56m programme set-up by the National Lottery Community Fund, is designed to improve the emotional mental health and wellbeing of children and young people aged 10 to 16 by giving them the skills they need to cope with the challenges of modern life.

As well as running a series of specific programmes in its four key target areas, HeadStart Wolverhampton offers city-wide help through a Support and Guidance Directory at support.headstartonline.co.uk which provides emotional mental health and wellbeing resources from different organisations, including information targeted at young people, parents and carers, and professionals.

A screen from a digital presentation used by Mini Ambassadors to share the HeadStart Wolverhampton programme with MPs

A screen from a digital presentation used by Mini Ambassadors to share the HeadStart Wolverhampton programme with MPs


Gallery (click photos to see full-size)

Getting Ahead Primary Skills Day, Bob Jones Community Hub

Getting Ahead Skills Day at Bob Jones Community Hub, January 14th 2019

Today is the first of two Skills Days for groups of Year 6 students participating in HeadStart’s targeted Getting Ahead programme.

This day, taking place at Bob Jones Community Hub, is designed to build the practical, teamworking and problem-solving skills of the young people. The students move around the challenges on a rotational basis, offering each of them the chance to learn new skills and have fun while also learning that failure is a necessary part of developing resilience and making progress!

The skills are:

  • DIY skills: building a set of flat-pack shelves

  • A bead sequencing problem-solving challenge

  • A First Aid workshop

  • A sewing workshop

  • A Virtual Reality challenge

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Here’s a glimpse of what the young people have been up to!

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The Getting Ahead programme includes a range of residential and other activities spread through the academic year, and brings together selected groups of young people from different HeadStart Wolverhampton schools.

The programme is facilitated and led by HeadStart partner EngagEDU (@EngageduOnline).

Last chance! Visit Gazebo's 'Winter Wonderland' at Bilston Town Hall on Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week!

Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week are your last chance to visit Gazebo Theatre’s fantastic ‘A Winter Wonderland’ at Bilston Town Hall.

This free festive experience for all of the family is open on the following days and times:

  • Thursday 20th December from 12pm until 3pm

  • Friday 21st December from 12pm until 3pm

  • Saturday 22nd December from 11am until 4pm

The Winter Wonderland was imagined, planned and created by HeadStart’s fantastic Mini Ambassadors, aged 10-14, in Bilston East, in collaboration with the team at Gazebo Theatre.

Here’s a glimpse of the sparkly delights that lie in wait for lucky visitors. Don’t miss out!

Great news! Low Hill Community Centre becomes Wolverhampton’s first Healthy Living Hub

WV10’s Got Talent at Low Hill Community Centre

WV10’s Got Talent at Low Hill Community Centre

Great news from one of our HeadStart Community bases at Low Hill; the Community Centre has become Wolverhampton’s first Healthy Living Hub.

HeadStart is working closely with the team at the centre to raise awareness of good emotional health and wellbeing and to ensure that healthy living messages incorporate the importance good mental health too.

Our mini Ambassadors from nearby Moreton School have also been working closely with the centre, including on the recent talent shows - see here for more.

Congratulations to the team at Low Hill Community Centre on this great news.


Press release below taken from City Of Wolverhampton Council

Read the full press release here (released 3rd December 2018)

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A community centre has celebrated its 80th anniversary by becoming Wolverhampton's first Healthy Living Hub.

Low Hill Community Centre marked its milestone with a tea party recently, during which the Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Phil Page unveiled a plaque officially declaring it a Healthy Living Hub.

It means visitors to the community centre can now receive a wealth of health and wellbeing advice and services, with health champions on hand to show people how to access online support, for instance to help stop smoking or reduce their alcohol consumption, and refer them to appropriate health services such as their GP for an NHS Health Check or community pharmacy for advice on medication or minor ailments.

The Healthy Living Hub also has a dedicated health promotion zone, while the community centre itself offers a wide range of services which support health and wellbeing in some way, including a gym, health and fitness sessions, martial arts and activities for families and young people such as cooking sessions, art and crafts and dance and drama.

Councillor Hazel Malcolm, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "The Healthy Living Hub model enables communities to get involved and help bring about better health outcomes for local residents.

"The initiative at Low Hill is building on the fantastic work already undertaken by the community centre which, for the last 80 years, has provided a focal point for the people of Low Hill, The Scotlands and Bushbury."

Lina Martino, Consultant in Public Health with the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “The volunteers at Low Hill Community Centre should be extremely proud of their achievements in becoming the city’s first Healthy Living Hub.

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"They have demonstrated fantastic leadership in bringing together a range of local organisations to look at ways to support people to improve their health and wellbeing. Their health champions are able to engage with people that may not have frequent contact with health professionals and let them know about what support is available to them in the community.

"It was very fitting to be able to mark their accomplishment at their 80th anniversary celebrations and we congratulate them for their outstanding efforts.”

Tony Blakeway, manager of Low Hill Community Association, said: "It is great that the community centre has come so far over the years and that is down to the dedication of our volunteers who strive to make our community stronger and better.

"We were delighted to host this event to celebrate our history and to recognise our contribution to improving health and wellbeing of local people in line with what people want and need."

The drive to become a Healthy Living Hub came about thanks to a collaboration between a range of partners, including the community association, pharmacies, local volunteers and the Public Health Team at the City of Wolverhampton Council.

It saw members of the community association teamed up with volunteers from Low Hill Nursery to undertake accredited training through Adult Education Wolverhampton to become qualified health champions.

Community organisations interested in finding out more about becoming a Healthy Living Hub are asked to contact Riva Eardley, Pharmacy Support Officer at the City of Wolverhampton Council, by emailing riva.eardley@wolverhampton.gov.uk or calling 01902 554208.

Read the full press release here (released 3rd December 2018)