Since the nationwide lockdown measures were introduced in late March, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University have been working tirelessly to ensure the 7000+ vulnerable children in the region are supported in their education and wellbeing.
A confusing and unsettling time for many local children, the charity has sought to help ease anxieties and bring some normality to lockdown-life by providing wellbeing packs designed to help with school work as well as mental health and wellbeing. Now a further 500 packs can be produced due to sponsorship by NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Natasha Banke, Director, Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University said: “We know this is a very stressful time for children and families, so we’ve put together a handy pack full of brilliant resources to be delivered by schools to those who need support in our city the most.”
“Although the packs have some of the items you might expect like coloured pencils and books, we’ve also made sure to include items to help support mental wellbeing too. This includes mood cards, which can help children talk about their feelings, a stress ball, a ‘Happy, Confident Me’ journal and ‘Un-Worry Me’ book – two great resource for children to understand and process their emotions.”
Emma Latimer, NHS Hull CCG Accountable Officer said: “It is so important that we support children to understand their emotions in what will have been one of the most difficult times in their lives. The pandemic, associated fear and huge cultural changes to our way of life haven’t only affected us adults, but children too. As resilient as they can be, it is easy to see that they would need some extra support with their feelings and emotions right now.”
The packs will be delivered to 500 local children in the next few weeks; they’ll also include child friendly information around aspirations and NHS careers, something incredibly important to Emma.
Emma continued: “One silver lining to what has been a simply tragic time has been how enthusiastically the public have got behind the NHS. In Hull we want to ‘grow our own’ future workforce so it felt right to share some aspiration raising information about how children can become a part of our future NHS family, along with the wellbeing packs. We hope one of these booklets, coupled with the national and local pride for the NHS, sparks the imagination of a few children to become our next set of NHS heroes.”
Finally, Emma added: “Being able to support 500 vulnerable children in our city through these packs means a lot to everyone in the CCG team. I’m so grateful of all the work Natasha and the Children’s University are doing to try and make this worrying time easier for local children.”
To find out more about the wellbeing packs and the work of the Hull and East Yorkshire Children’s University visit: www.hullchildrensuniversity.com
[Melissa Cooper – NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group]