11 Foyers from our network started the Connecting Minds programme this month, joining youth enterprise States of Mind and InspireChilli to explore new approaches to young people’s mental wellbeing, with investment from the National Lottery Community Fund.
The programme places young people at the centre of problem solving in mental health, replacing the negative narrative of wellbeing disorders with more helpful insights into the causes of distress. It draws from psychosocial and trauma-informed practice to offer a sustainable model that supports young people to lead their own health initiatives through local projects and peer-to-peer and practitioner conversations.
The programme’s elements include:
- Access to personal budgets to support young people’s wellbeing goals
- A unique learning resource that introduces a range of therapeutic skills and methods for young people and staff to draw from
- Expert advice, including training from Talk for Health and clinical supervision from Policy to Practice
- Budget and inspiration for services to develop their own wellbeing activity project led by young people
- Regular connection and support
- Use of impact insights to produce an informed evaluation report to promote learning and potential
The Accredited Foyers selected for the programme include On Route Foyer (CHADD); Bridge, Coops, Ravenhead and Verve Place Foyers (YHG); Heather Court and Swan House Foyers (Swan); Sheffield Foyer; Braintree and Newhaven Foyer (SAHA); YMCA Crewe.
The Foyers are funded up until the end of June 2022 to complete delivery on the programme, with the period of July-Oct 2022 set aside to capture impact and learning for a final evaluation report in November 2022 and national dissemination from December 2022.
Colin Falconer, Director of InspireChilli, said:
“Foyers are excited by the practical ideas and tools in Connecting Minds which offer a real opportunity to work with young people in ways that can make a positive difference. As a young person noted from our pilot programme, ‘The most beneficial thing is … to find my inner peace, relax and self-reflect.’ Given that we saw 97% of young people in the pilot identify and progress wellbeing goals, we hope that our latest Foyer partners will be able to use Connecting Minds to make ‘inner peace’ accessible to more young people."