Today marks the start of Children’s Mental Health Week and the launch of a number of new trials in schools each aiming to improve the emotional wellbeing of our children.
On the surface of it, this feels like really good news and a welcome boost within an area that has become a growing concern for parents and professionals alike over the past few years.
With so many schools and teachers already stretched beyond their current means however – added to a plethora of providers out there who are already offering solutions around similar themes – how we do really know if we’re solving or problem or simply creating a bigger pile of initiatives for schools, teachers and young people to drown under?
Salford Quays based Social Sense CIC has secured £90,000 from the Key Fund to help scale its impressive social impacts in the areas of Mental Health, Domestic Abuse, Knife Crime plus adolescent Risk Behaviours including Alcohol and Substance misuse.
The Sheffield based Social Investor has committed to Investing from its Northern Impact Fund. A mixture of grant and loan finance has been received via Access – the Foundation for Social Investment, with funding from the Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital.
Social Sense CIC was born out of the Ltd company using surpluses, pro-bono support and various new commissions to help it achieve a successful first year of trading.
University also estimates a £8.29 society benefit for every £1 spent on Social Sense’s Healthy Relationship project
Social Sense has recently concluded a successful 12-month project with local secondary schools in Salford, promoting healthy relationships and tackling the misperceptions that exist around domestic violence and abuse (DVA).
Most people would agree that giving to others is a good thing, however it can also do a lot of good for your own mental wellbeing.
Small acts of kindness towards other people, or larger ones like volunteering in your local community, can give you a sense of purpose, make you feel happier and more satisfied with life.
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).
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?
Social Sense secures funding for a ground-breaking Healthy Relationships project with young LGBTQ+ groups!
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.
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.