Published on: April 24, 2023
Nearly 400 school students in North East Lincolnshire have so far benefitted from a Peer Wellbeing Project, which has been instrumental in improving wellbeing in over 30 school communities
Harry Dixon, Trainee Educational Mental Health Practitioner at Compass GO, said the project, which he designed himself, aimed to improve wellbeing in schools by encouraging a dialogue between students and school staff, aided by Compass GO staff.
So far, 389 children and young people have taken part from31 schools.
Harry wrote a report on the project which has been included on the national Government Events website, which is well read by thousands of professionals. He hopes our methods and techniques will be adopted or adapted across the UK.
The programme has three main phases.
First, a wellbeing audit is conducted, with information being collected on existing methods of safeguarding students’ wellbeing and getting school staff views on what challenges they were facing in developing a culture of wellbeing.
Project training, based around the Five Ways to Wellbeing is then carried out. The training is aimed at helping the school community understand how best to improve wellbeing. Harry explained the training helps participants improve their own wellbeing and champion the needs of others while being able to safely manage their role. Students learn how to identify their own limitations and how to get support from teachers, Compass GO staff and from other services.
Harry said: “Feedback from the participants is then be collected and key themes passed back from the school. A conversation and plan would be agreed about how best the school could support the project.
“Staff training was always offered to the schools which would further explain the project’s aims, and I attended several follow up sessions within schools to help advocate for the participants with setting up their own mini projects within their teams.”
He went on: “Being able to tailor each delivery of the project to each individual cohort of participants and their school’s culture really helped elevate the success of the project and made the positive impact of each project’s team and their hard work more visible.”
Laura Lockett, Service Manager said: “The programme has been instrumental in helping Compass GO Mental Health Support Team in assessing where each school is at in terms of its wellbeing culture and then facilitating incredibly beneficial change for all within the school community.
‘The peer wellbeing project is a fantastic achievement in North East Lincolnshire and is being nationally recognised.
And she added: “The children and young people in education settings that have been part of the programme are passionate about emotional and mental health wellbeing and supporting their peers in schools, whilst also asking the leads in schools to support and improve wellbeing offers. The programs are individualised per school setting following the children and young people’s voices and wishes!’