miniambassadors

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


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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!

Exploring how religious faith and communities can support mental health and wellbeing: the Interfaith Wolverhampton Conference 2018

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On Saturday, HeadStart was delighted to support the Interfaith Wolverhampton Mental Health Conference, with its theme of ‘Perceptions of Mental Health from Different Faiths’.

The conference took place at The Royal School, Wolverhampton, and featured a range of guest speakers from different faith backgrounds, speaking on their understanding of mental health and mental health issues in their faiths, and how faith communities can support local people.

Common themes from the speakers included:

  • the need for faiths to be inclusive, and to recognise and celebrate the individuality of believers

  • the importance of faith and faith communities in providing hope and belonging to people struggling with mental health challenges

The event was opened by the Mayor Of Wolverhampton, Councillor Phil Page. The keynote speaker was Lesley Writtle, Chief Executive of NHS Primary Partnership Trust.

HeadStart mini Ambassadors from All Saints, Blakenhall, Parkfields and Ettingshall tested the knowledge of delegates with their mental health quiz, and shocked them with statistics about the problems faced by young people today. Well done to them!

Other speakers included:

  • The Right Honourable Pat McFadden, MP for Wolverhampton SE

  • Hazel Malcolm from The Health and Emotional Wellbeing Service, City of Wolverhampton Council

  • Louise Franklin from Compton Care

  • Mai Gibbons from HeadStart Wolverhampton

  • Ven. Tejwant Banti (Buddhism)

  • Mr Bhajan Devsi (Sikhism)

  • Mr Toby (Islam)

  • Jayashree (Hinduism)

  • Reverend Emma Louise (Christianity)

Finally, HeadStart Ambassador Cristina shared her ‘live story’ with delegates, describing her journey from first getting involved with HeadStart to now training as a mental health nurse. Thank you Cristina!

The lead organiser of the event was Councillor Jasbinder Dehar, the Vice Chair of Interfaith Wolverhampton.

It was a fascinating and positive morning, and reinforced how religious faith can and should bring people together. Thank you to Interfaith Wolverhampton for organising the conference, and to all the speakers who made it an inspiring event.

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Mental health issues don’t choose people from particular backgrounds. Let’s not lose the moment.

Quotes from Interfaith Wolverhampton speakers:

We all have mental health, just like we all have physical health
Practise contentment and gentleness
We need to interpret our holy books carefully to make sure that we’re not doing harm to people
Being a faith community is about love and compassion and inclusiveness and honesty
The present is important. It’s today. It’s the here and now … spirituality and faith are part of what makes someone unique.
When I meet someone, it’s important not to see them as their illness. What makes them unique? What makes you, you?

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WV10's Got Talent! A talent show for all ages, coming to Low Hill Community Centre in November

HeadStart’s mini Ambassadors at Moreton School are delighted to be working with Low Hill Community Association to organise WV10’s Got Talent, a talent show for all ages running from Low Hill Community Centre!

Auditions are set to take place from 4pm until 8pm on Friday 9th November, with age categories of 6-10 years, 10-16, and 16-99.

The Grand Final, featuring the acts shortlisted in the auditions, will take place at 6:30pm on Friday 30th November.

Whatever your talent - singing, dancing, comedy, magic, anything! - the judges would love you to take part in auditions. Come and show us what you’ve got! Prizes will be awarded for each category.

Application forms are available from Low Hill Community Centre, Kempthorne Avenue, WV10 9JJ, or telephone 01902 552312.

Alternatively, download, print and complete an application form below:

Colton Hills HeadStart mini Ambassadors and HeadStarters provide support and guidance to new Year 7

The transition from primary to secondary school is a big deal for any young person. Year 6 pupils are the oldest and ‘wisest’ in their primary school. They might have been together with classmates since Reception, growing up together, making friends, falling out, and making friends again. Each day, they’ve spent most of their time in a single classroom, with known and familiar routines. They know and understand how primary school works.

Then, on the flip side of a long six week holiday, all that changes ...
— from 'Smoothing the transition. 17 ideas for parents and carers supporting young people', a blog post from HeadStart Wolverhampton for #MovingOnUp

Our Year 8 HeadStart mini Ambassadors and HeadStarters at Colton Hills knew the challenges of moving up to secondary school; they had experienced the transition just a year before!

They wanted to put a programme in place to support the new Year 7 students, and worked with the HeadStart Young Person Engagement and Schools teams to co-produce and deliver a programme of support activities and discussion.

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Listen to Esha, one of the HeadStart Ambassadors describing the work of mini Ambassaors and what they’re trying to achieve in the transition programme:

Following a day of workshops and training last Thursday, 6th February, the young people led a series of workshops for the new Year 7s on Friday, introducing them to key HeadStart ideas, and working with them on discussions based on ‘The Needs Mat’ and ‘The Feelings Ball’, and team-building activities like the Lilly Pads.

Chris, one of the Activity Facilitators for Black Country YMCA, introduced the new Year 7s to the HeadStart community programme for All Saints, Blakenhall, Parkfields and Ettingshall, and encouraged the students to get involved and to share ideas and feedback to drive the development of new activities in the area.

The sessions were a great success as part of Colton Hills’ wider programme to support transition, and a wonderful example of co-production in action.

Hansa, HeadStart Young Person Engagement Coordinator, introduces the programme:

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