6 Ways these young people learned more about being a HERO!

The Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton hosted HeadStart Wolverhampton for two days to run their revolutionary Peer Support Program. This included three secondary schools on the first day and three primaries on the second. The Program aims to teach young people the importance of relationship building and acceptance of different beliefs, cultures and options. This is how our young people managed to learn more about being a real life HERO.

1. Contact

This is the first stage in building a peer support relationship. This is absolutely vital, that the young people understood how to develop a healthy relationship in a short time. When a Peer Supporter approaches a young person it is important to remain open minded and not to be judgemental about what they may or not talk about. Therefore in this part of the session we helped teach this to the young people. 

2. Understand

Understand is based on understanding the different emotions peers can experience. For instance understanding different types of facial expressions when a young person is feeling happy or upset. It is essential that the peers supporters understand this so they can then empathise with others.

3. Access

The Access stage of Hero's is about being aware of a situation, to understand and agree next steps. This is to make Peer supporters aware of how to follow clear proceeders to ensure that all parties are protected and that they can evaluate levels of risk effectively. 

4. Support

As a Peer Supporter, supporting fellow peers can help both promote resilience for both parties. This is because the peer can feel empowered to do stuff that they may not have ever tried like; football, tennis, chess, arts and crafts etc. This can then lead them into a area that could help promote emotional wellbeing. This also has the positive impact of making the Peer Supporters feel as though they have made an impact and change in someones life as a result. 

5. Share

In share the Hero must identify if the situation or conversation that has occurred, wether or not to report this to a responsible adult. This is to ensure that peer supporters are not taking the burden of a situation on themselves. By doing so it can put both the peer and peer supporter at risk. This part could be considered the crucial role of a peer supporter in understanding what should be reported. The young people found this difficult to understand, "why should they tell a teacher certain things that the peer has told them in high confidence?" Well this is a skill that the peer supporters eventually learned. Safeguarding is a vital skill to have and understand as safety is everyones number one concern.

6. Resolve

Resolve, this is the end of the peer support relationship and how to pass on that relationship to another fellow supporter. This is to ensure that the peer supporters remain professional and that boundaries are adhered.This also makes sure that the peer doesn’t feel abandoned. Many of the young people may ask why they have to end the relationship? Well we believe that they don't need to end their friendship but they must resolve their peer support relationship as it can lead to complications and puts too much pressure on induvial peer supporter.

Film: Adult HEROs at Low Hill Community Centre

Adult HEROs is a course for parents and carers being led by HeadStart partner Wider Learning (www.widerlearning.com), running from centres in each of the HeadStart target areas in the city. The course introduces parents and carers to practical advice on topics including:

  • Developing emotional resilience and mental well-being in themselves and their children
  • Online safety and resilience
  • Developing positive behaviour in their children

Earlier this week, we dropped in at a session at Low Hill Community Centre to speak to some of the parents taking part, and to discuss the programme with the session leader Sue Westwood.

Watch the video below!

The Adult HEROs programme is one of a number of opportunities for parents and carers; see https://www.headstartonline.co.uk/news/parent-champions for information about another HeadStart programme, Parent Champions.

A review of CAMHS drop-in sessions for young people and parents / carers.

Important notice: please note that yesterday, April 19th, was the last CAMHS drop-in session in the current schedule.

Since the start of the year, our CAMHS Link Worker Lucy has been leading a series of drop-in sessions for young people and parents and carers living in the Low Hill, Bushbury, Eastfield and Heath Town areas. Local people have attended to discuss mental health concerns about themselves or their children, with sessions rotating between Eastfield Strengthening Families Hub and The Gem Centre.

The last of the sessions in the current schedule took place yesterday, and HeadStart is now reviewing the insights and learning from the sessions as part of the development of further HeadStart programmes and services.

The issues that have been highlighted by parents and carers attending include anger management and behavioural issues, anxiety and low mood. People attending have been provided with self-help materials, and where appropriate, referred into other services within the city.

Find out how these young people weathered the storm!

During the recent HeadStart trip to towers a lot of young peoples resilience was tested. This is snow joke. These young people in the gruelling conditions that “the Beast from the East” has brought with the mountainous terrain of wales could break even the toughest of young people. It was as cold as -3℃ in some parts of the day.


But despite the bitter conditions these young people managed to not only prevail the freezing cold but also had a lot of exciting adventurous at the same time. These young people despite having over half a foot of snow in some parts of wales, managed to go skying, climbing, zip wiring and do many other activities. 


1. Wrapping up warm


During the whole day in the bitter cold mountains these young people managed to combat the cold. Luckily lots of them prepared before hand for horrific conditions however a few young people forgot some key clothing items that were essential to keep warm. One was thick socks, a lot of these young people only brought regular cotton socks. However many of them used their inactive to use two socks to try and keep there feet warm. Luckily nobody’s feet fell off and the young people learned to always double check and prepare for the worst.


2. Overcoming fears!


Many young people had a lot of fears when it come to certain activities. One young person in particular found it very difficult to do the zip wire activity. Fearing that the rope might snap and leave them in the freezing water as the zip wire went across a pond. However despite having a major fear for heights managed to convince themselves to jump off and put some trust in the rope. Afterwards they felt rewarded and now know that sometimes being outside their comfort zone is a good thing.


3. Shoulder to shoulder


In these conditions a lot of young people felt tired and very cold. However all of the developed very strong bonds. This is because they all had to achieve the same if not very similar goals. Sometimes these young people had to work in a team but even when working as individuals managed to respect each other more. This taught them the importance of friendship and how working together can help achieve there own goals.




With a lot of young people today the idea of not having their phone is a living nightmare. However these young people managed to overcome this, socialising and communicating together in their spare time. Many of them playing pool, and drinking hot chocolate together. This goes to show how young people are willing to adapt to change when it comes to having no internet. 


5. One step further


The young people have had quiet a challenging few days whilst in towers. However through sheer determination have managed to overcome the obstacles that faced them during their time. Now moving on they should be able to use the skills they have learned during the trip in other areas of their life such as school, home and further in the future. This is the key skill they learned being able to adapt to their environment to make the best of the situation, this is what HeadStart is all about improving the resilience of young people in any situation they may face.

Meeting the standard: the B-Safe Team award anti-bullying charter status to Wolverhampton schools

Last year, as part of their work supporting safeguarding priorities around the city, the B-Safe team, Wolverhampton's Junior Safeguarding Board, were asked to work together to describe standards which they felt schools should meet in dealing with bullying. The team then carefully structured these standards to form a citywide anti-bullying charter.

Wolverhampton schools were asked to submit evidence and policies to support an application for a charter award based on the statements in the charter. Thirty eight Wolverhampton schools submitted applications, including primaries, secondaries, and special schools. The B-Safe team rigorously examined the applications, matching the submitted evidence to their standards, and requesting additional evidence from schools where necessary.

Of the 38 schools who applied, 20 were awarded the charter award, with several other schools being given 'working towards' status.

Successful schools were invited to an awards event at The Bob Jones Community Hub on Wednesday 28th March. The B-Safe team introduced the event, which was compèred by Steve Dodd from Wolverhampton Safeguarding Board. Linda Sanders, the independent chair of the Safeguarding Award, spoke glowingly of the work the B-Safe team at the event, and awarded trophies to the schools to recognise their new anti-bullying status.

The B-Safe Team will be re-opening applications for new schools soon, so more schools can demonstrate their commitment to preventing and dealing with bullying in young people.

Wolverhampton schools who have achieved anti-bullying charter status:

  • Northwood Park Primary
  • St Luke's Ce Primary
  • Trinity CE Primary
  • Wodensfield Primary
  • Eastfield Primary
  • Edward the Elder Primary
  • Bushbury Hill Primary
  • Aldersley High
  • St Michael's CE Primary
  • Colton Hills Community School
  • Penn Hall School
  • Loxdale Primary
  • Woden Primary
  • Palmer's Cross Primary
  • Holy Trinity Catholic Primary
  • Stow Heath Primary
  • Heath Park
  • Dunstall Hill Primary
  • Bilston CE Primary
  • Moseley Park School

Congratulations to all of the successful schools.

Gallery (click thumbnails to view full-size)

The work of the B-Safe team in designing and evaluating their anti-bullying charter award is another fantastic example of co-production in our city

If you're not familiar with the concept of co-production, here's a quick video clip to help!

NEWSecondary Anti-Bullying Charter.jpg