School children encouraged to put their baking hats on as part of Children’s Mental Health Week

The Social Mediation and Self-Help (SMASH) service at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust is currently working with schools in Hull, East Riding and North Lincolnshire to get involved in the SMASH Bake Off, as part of Children’s Mental Health Week 2021.

SMASH Bake Off, Children’s Mental Health Week 2021.
SMASH Bake Off, Children’s Mental Health Week 2021.

Children’s Mental Health Week runs from 1 – 7 February this year and the theme is ‘express yourself’, encouraging young people to share their thoughts and feelings through creativity.

The Bake Off event has been made possible thanks to a partnership with the Cherry Tree Centre in Beverley and Wolds Fayre Foodservice, who have generously donated ingredients to families, and thanks to dedicated SMASH practitioners, who will be dropping off the food parcels as part of a COVID-safe procedure. This will alleviate any need for families to go to the supermarket for the ingredients and will ensure no one misses out.

The aim of this event is to show young people in the area that the little things can have a big impact. Activities such as baking and spending time with family can be said to alleviate worry and stress, which is something young people in the area may be struggling with at this time, as a result of the ongoing lockdown and school closures.

Emma Train-Sullivan, Service Manager at SMASH, said: “I am truly blown away by the creativity, enthusiasm and determination the SMASH team has shown with this campaign. We knew we needed to think outside the box this year and in a way that would adhere to COVID restrictions.

“We’re all experiencing levels of disconnection at this time and the mental health of us all is being tested. So when the world has to stay apart, SMASH decided to come together with cake! It’s the little things that make the biggest difference – I’m a big believer in using everyday things to create a therapeutic impact, and what better way than with a sweet treat?”

As part of the baking event, pupils will be asked to follow a ‘recipe for keeping yourself well’, which includes a step-by-step card to make the ‘un-worry cake’. The team hopes this will give families the time to reconnect with others virtually, through a community bake off. It is a time to focus on their own thoughts and enjoy the little things in every day.

Each ingredient in the recipe stands for a COVID-safe activity that young people and their families can do throughout the week to alleviate worry. The butter is ‘225g of family time’, the eggs ‘4 thoughts and feelings shared’ and the milk ‘a splash of hope’.

The SMASH team would like to encourage anyone who is interested to get join in the bake off and spread awareness next week. 

You can follow the recipe and get involved on social media from Monday 1st February, via Twitter @HumberNHSFT, where the team will be sharing the young people’s experiences each day of Children’s Mental Health Week.

[Loren Hakeney – Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust]

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