Young people’s emotional health services HeadStart Hull secure further funding

A programme that supports young people and families in Hull has been awarded additional funding to continue improving emotional health and well-being.

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The extended lottery funding will enable the HeadStart Hull programme, which is led by Hull City Council, to deliver vital support for a sixth year, until July 2022.

The citywide programme was launched in 2017 following a successful two year pilot and has been developed in partnership with schools, community organisations, young people and parents to provide effective prevention and early help to improve emotional health and well-being.

Councillor Peter Clark, portfolio holder for learning and skills at Hull City Council, said: “We know the Covid crisis has had a huge impact on the people of Hull, and it is programmes such as HeadStart that have proven to help those who have struggled as a result. The news that these services will now carry on is great for the children, young people and families of the city and we would like to thank The National Lottery Community Fund for their support.”

HeadStart Hull offers universal and targeted support for 10-16 year olds with a programme of free support services, which include: Turn2 Us drop in sessions (HCC Youth Services), Play Rangers (Hessle Road Network), Young Peoples Peer Mentoring (Cornerhouse), School and Community based group work (Barnardo’s (Wrap), Humber foundation Trust (SMASH) and Smile (HCC Youth Services), Counselling (HEY Mind) and Emotional Resilience Coaches (HCC Youth Services). 

The programme also offers support to parents and carers who need help to improve the emotional health of their families though services provided by Child Dynamix, HCC parenting team and Kids.

Since the launch of the programme, more than 1540 young people and 690 parents and carers have been supported through the targeted early help on offer. 

Universally, 41,580 children and young people per year have benefitted from timetabled Jigsaw PSHE lessons, which promotes positive mental health across all schools. 

Niki Clemo, Hull City Council’s director of children, young people and family services, said: 

“This is fantastic news, not just for the schools and services who have helped the programme become such a success, but for the children, young people and families in Hull.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this vital support for a further, sixth year.”

The HeadStart Hull programme is an integral part of the Early Help offer, working with all schools across the city, as well as school nurses, family support officers, social workers, youth workers and a wide range of community providers to deliver a city wide approach to improving emotional well-being.

HeadStart Hull helps schools and community providers achieve a whole organisation approach to improving well-being, supporting each to attain the Mark of Excellence, (a recognition award evaluated by young people), full PSHE curriculum support through the Jigsaw programme and an extensive workforce-training offer available to all staff working with young people and families.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the programme has been crucial in supporting the children, young people and families of Hull, and every service adapted their delivery swiftly to provide consistent and vital support.

The creation of a Covid-19 information hub on www.howareyoufeeling.org.uk became a trusted source of advice and guidance for young people and parents alike from the start of lockdown in March, and continues to remain so.

But perhaps the key the programme’s success has been the coproduction to develop support and young people led campaigns. The Headstarters are a group of young volunteers who help shape the delivery of the support on offer as well as devising and delivering powerful and effective awareness campaigns to the young people of Hull. 

Their most significant to date has been the “You Are Not Alone” suicide awareness campaign, which is now recognised nationally by the Local Government Association for its success and impact.

Emma Ackerman, Deputy Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “We are delighted to be able to give further funding to HeadStart partnerships in England thanks to support from National Lottery players. 

“We’re aware that there will be people growing up with the after effects of the COVID crisis. Programmes like HeadStart, which supports young people’s mental health, and our Young People in the Lead Strategy, which is about making sure young people’s voices are heard and they are involved in the decisions affecting them, will play a role in helping to mitigate the impact.”

Website: How Are You Feeling?

[Michael Berriman – Hull City Council]