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Hull has been awarded £7.8m from the Big Lottery Fund to improve young people’s emotional health

Hull was one of 12 local authorities who applied for the funding and six have been successful and will receive £7.8m over the next five years.

The HeadStart Hull programme, led by Hull City Council in partnership with schools, Hull CCG, voluntary sector organisations including Cornerhouse and Child Dynamix and CAMHS, which is aimed at 10 – to 16-year-olds, is designed to help young people have improved emotional health and resilience.

The new innovative five year programme will support young people to tackle a range of issues which they identified as impacting negatively, from bullying, body image and peer pressure, to family problems, separation, bereavement and loss, lack of peer networks or exam stress and even the pressure of moving up from primary to secondary school all of which contribute to poor emotional well-being and increased anxiety.

Building on learning from the pilot the funding will deliver a new evidence based model of provision for children and young people aged 10 – to 16 across Hull. The programme was designed and developed in consultation with partnership organisations, young people and parents. These services and support will enable children and young people aged 10 – to 16 to develop positive mental well-being, thrive in their communities and develop skills and confidence to bounce back from life’s challenges.

The programme will be rolled out to Hull schools including primary, secondary and special schools ensuring teachers and school support staff have the right skills and tools to support children and young people. Also working with youth providers across the city it will ensure support is consistent across all school and community services and that there are trained confident staff to support them.

Over the five years of the programme HeadStart Hull will deliver a range of interventions and services to ensure that:

  • Children and young people are confident to discuss feelings/worries with a trusted adult and support their peers.
  • Children and young people are able to find and access support when and where they need it
  • Parents confidently and appropriately support their children and young people with emotional health and well-being.
  • Everyone working with children and young people can identify emotional health issues early and provide effective support to young people and their families.
  • Quick access to effective targeted interventions which reduce the need for specialist/ clinical services
  • HeadStart Hull will also contribute to the development of services for young people at a national level. Young people are shaping the initiative at a local level and we will work with partnerships across the country to share learning and best practice.

Councillor Phil Webster, Portfolio Holder for Learning, Skills and Safeguarding Children, said:

This is fantastic news. We are delighted our bid to improve children and young people’s emotional health in Hull has been successful. We are extremely proud of the progress made to date and the valuable work already underway with schools across the city.

The HeadStart programme supports Hull’s City Plan delivering early support and intervention to improve health and mitigate critical need and safeguarding the most vulnerable.

Mental and emotional health is incredibly important in children’s lives and we know from research that mental illness in young people often develops from aged 14 onwards.

This funding will now enable us and our partners to develop this further and with more schools, ensuring we have the right services and support available at the right time to prevent mental health problems and before they become more serious.

The project is aimed to provide our future generation with confidence and resilience ensuring they have the best possible start in life and a bright future ahead.

Led by Hull City Council in partnership with schools, Hull CCG, voluntary sector organisations including Cornerhouse and Child Dynamix and CAMHS, the HeadStart Hull programme is a great example of cross-sector partnership. Rachel Roberts, Assistant Early Help and Commissioning City Manager, added:

The two-year pilot has enabled us to develop a really strong and committed partnership with a number of public and voluntary organisations, working together and sharing the same ambition of supporting the city’s young people.

Lyn Cole, Big Lottery Fund England grant-making director, said:

Mental health issues in early teens, if not tackled early, can develop into more serious conditions, impacting on school results and opportunities later on in life.

HeadStart has been developed with young people to ensure that mental health is embedded in a school’s culture and pupils’ emotional welfare is recognised as fundamental to their overall achievement.

This will raise awareness, tackle stigma and enable young people to seek the support they need when they have problems and are under stress. This funding will make a huge difference to the development of young people at a crucial time in their lives.

The existing targeted projects in the pilot programme will be extended to December 2016 with a phased implementation of the new city wide scheme with all services being in place by January 2017.

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