Changing Social Norms around carrying knives in Liverpool!

Posted on Updated on

RiseUp CIC and Social Sense Community have secured Home Office funding for a pioneering social norms programme focused on knife crime with over 600 year 8 pupils in Liverpool.

On the back of 150,000 young people participating with the programme and a recent award at the UK Public Sector Communications Awards, the Home Office has commissioned Social Sense Community’s RU Different? programme for a pilot study on knife crime with young people.

The study, which is due to start in November, will be delivered in three Liverpool schools. Rise Up CIC will deliver the project, with Social Sense Community leading on the marketing and evaluation.


Photo: Adam McCooey, Social Sense CIC (Left) with Ashleigh Nugent, Rise Up CIC (Right).

Read the rest of this entry »

Are you a mental health box-ticker or a changemaker?

Posted on

By Gary Lovatt, Social Sense CEO

I have mixed feelings about Mental Health Awareness day. For some management teams within schools and workplaces, the reaction will be to finally bring Dorothy in for that half day of Mindfulness or book a bunch of people on that Mental Health First Aid course (whether they like it or not).

Then there are the schools and organisations who work with us to take the issue of Workplace wellbeing more seriously. They start by working with us to really understand the issues taking place for staff within their organisations and the opportunities for how they can create change at a universal and targeted level. We work together to achieve complete organisational ‘buy in’ and a clear, deliverable plan for culture change and sustainability. There is a Mindfulness strategy sitting alongside key components such as changes to mental health policy, working patterns, nutrition, physical exercise, crisis support or whatever else we find to be a barrier affecting the wellbeing of staff.

Genuine co-production sits at the heart of all of the above. Employees/learners are given the opportunity to become champions, driving forward initiatives long after we have departed, including for example social action projects benefiting both them and their local community.

Employees can engage face to face with these champions or continue their learning digitally.

Everything is measured qualitatively and quantitatively in real time, proving Social Return on Investment and how lives have genuinely been improved and exactly what is was that made the difference.

So on this special day ask yourself this about buying in your next Mental Health related service.

Do you want to be a box ticker or a changemaker?

#boxtickerschoosedorothy #changemakers-choose-us 

Social Sense secures funding for a ground-breaking Healthy Relationships project with young LGBTQ+ groups!

Posted on Updated on

Social Sense Community has secured funding for a pioneering healthy relationship programme for young LGBTQ+ groups.

On the back of a successful pilot in Salford and a recent award at the UK Public Sector Communications Awards, the Big Lottery Fund has commissioned Social Sense’s Change Up programme for a pilot study on healthy relationships and domestic abuse with LGBTQ+ teenagers.

Change Up LGBTQ LOGO-01

The study, which is due to start in September, will be delivered in Manchester and Salford by Social Sense in partnership with the University of Salford and supported by The Proud Trust.

Read the rest of this entry »

Social Sense shortlisted in the UK Public Sector Communications Awards for the third year running!

Posted on Updated on

Social Sense’s Mindful Me programme has been nominated for the 2018 Social Marketing Campaign of the Year Award at the UK Public Sector Communications Awards.

In partnership with Salford Clinical Commissioning Group, Mindful Me provided emotional health and wellbeing support, advice and guidance to year 9 pupils in a total of 13 Salford schools and 4 youth groups.

UK PSCA 2018 - Shortlisted Banner

Mindful Me aims to use early intervention and prevention tools and techniques to help young people and teachers with their emotional health and wellbeing. Social Sense then use social marketing techniques to positively improve confidence, resilience and happiness via methods such as posters, embedding support and the Mindful Me app.

The Mindful Me project adopts a similar model used in our Public-Sector Communications Award-winning R U Different? programme (www.rudifferent.co.uk) (Social Marketing Campaign of the year 2016) and Change Up Programme (Social Marketing Campaign of the year 2017).

Social Sense achieved its aim of engaging 2000 young people in Salford in receiving of the Mindful Me group sessions and achieved impacts such as a 7% reduction shift in self-harming.

Programme Manager of Mindful Me, Reece Hobson said the team were delighted with the nomination.

Emotional health and wellbeing is such an important topic and needs to be addressed. The Mindful Me programme in Salford delivered some fantastic outcomes like a 7% reduction in self-harming and a very positive increase in confidence following the session. We’re delighted with the nomination and look forward to the ceremony.

Francine Thorpe, Director of Quality & Innovation for NHS Salford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “ The CCG is keen to work with partners in promoting innovation that supports our strategic priorities. I am delighted to see that this project, which aims to improve mental wellbeing for young people in Salford, has been shortlisted for this award”.

The 2018 event will take place at the prestigious Montcalm Marble Arch, London on 20 June 2018.

For more information on the impact of the project, please click here.

Knowing BMI would influence lifestyle change in 9 out of 10 Young People!

Posted on

87% of young people say that regular monitoring of their growth using BMI (Body Mass Index) centiles would help them to make more informed choices surrounding diet and lifestyle, a recent Manchester based study of over 1000 young people has found.

In addition, approximately 3 out of 4 young people said that they would be interested in knowing how their height (78%) and weight (71%) changes over time.


Read the rest of this entry »

Social Sense concludes a successful 12 months project with local secondary schools and youth groups in Salford, addressing emotional health and wellbeing needs.

Posted on Updated on

Salford Clinical Commissioning Group provided funding to commission Social Sense’s Mindful Me Programme across 12 secondary schools during 2017. The project also worked with 4 local youth groups.

All year 9 pupils were invited to take part in 2 one-hour interactive workshops; an Introduction to Mindfulness followed by a Fusion® Mind Management Group Session.


Staff were also encouraged to participate in the sessions along with the pupils to act as positive role models.

This concludes the first part of the project, with the second part focusing on training staff and the Mindful Me app for sustainability.

Read the rest of this entry »

Social Sense achieves positive impacts in Halton with it’s Mindful Me programme

Posted on Updated on

Social Sense recently concluded a successful 12 months project with local secondary schools in Halton, addressing emotional health and wellbeing needs.

Halton Council commissioned Social Sense’s Mindful Me Programme across 7 secondary schools, during the academic year 2016/17. The programme officially commenced in November 2016.


Read the rest of this entry »


Posted on Updated on



The number of people who are affected by mental health is rising. In 1990, 416 million people suffered from depression or anxiety worldwide – these numbers rose to 615 million in 2013 (World Health Organisation, 2016).

Current figures state that each year in Britain an estimated one in four adults will experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem, though only 230 of every 300 who need help will actually visit their GP.

Mental illness is extremely common and exists in different forms, each of which can have an adverse effect on your well-being.

It’s easy to think there’s no right place or time to talk about mental health. But the more we talk about it, the better life is for all of us.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mindful Me concludes a successful project in Birmingham!

Posted on

Social Sense has recently concluded a successful 12 months pilot project with local secondary schools in Birmingham, addressing emotional health and wellbeing needs.

The Big Lottery Fund provided funding to commission Social Sense’s Mindful Me Programme across 3 secondary schools in Birmingham and Dudley, including one with alternative provision, during the academic year 2016/17.


Read the rest of this entry »

Blue Monday isn’t the only day depression can strike. Here’s how to cope:

Posted on Updated on

Today, 15th January, is Blue Monday, a term created by the psychologist Cliff Arnall in 2005 after a publicist at a British holiday company persuaded him to create a “scientific formula” to find out “the most depressing day of the year”.

He took into account weather, debt, time since Christmas, time since failing in our new year’s resolutions, motivational levels, and the feeling of a need to take action.

Blue Monday.jpg

Read the rest of this entry »