Stronger Futures Programme

The Stronger Futures programme aims to help children improve their mental strength through sports activities. Each week we will focus on a understanding and improving one aspect of mental strength through multi skill based sports activities. This programme has been designed by Total Sports Coaching , Changing Minds Kent CIC (Mental Health Specialists), Qualified Therapists who work with children to improve their resilience and Sports Connect (Education Provider)

Research has shown that looking after our mental wellbeing can help us deal with pressure and improve out ability to cope with life’s ups and downs. Approximately one in four adults and one in six children will experience a mental health problem in any one year.

Half of all mental health problems manifest by the age of 14, in 2017 suicide was the most common form of death for both boys and girls aged between 5 and 19. Adults who experienced four or more adversities in their childhood are four times more likely to have low mental wellbeing and life satisfaction.  Less than 1 in 3 children and young people with a diagnosable mental health condition get access to NHS care and treatment.

This project aims to help children understand and explore, through sport, some of the emotions they feel which can help them improve their mental wellbeing. We aim to help them gain an understanding and improve their resilience, communication, emotional responses, confidence levels and develop a growth mindset. This programme is not aiming to provide in depth psychological support, but to give young people a basic understanding of the mental characteristics listed and some hints and tips on how to improve them. By helping them to work on developing this part of themselves as children, we hope to provide them with some skills to improve their lives through to adulthood. We will help develop an understand through sport, but we hope that they develop transferable skills that will help them improve in the classroom and in all their day to day activities as well.

The 6 week programme combines physical activity and multi skills based coaching with discussions, group and individual activities and questionnaires/tokens to continually assess the children’s understanding and emotions. The programme works on developing 6 skills, there are: understanding emotions, teamwork, communication, mindset, resilience, confidence. The programme is delivered in this order as the structure allows for the development of the 6 key mental strength characteristics.

There is a questionnaire that all participants will fill out at the start and end of the programme, as well as weekly tokens that are used by the participants so they can express how they feel at the start and end of the session. This allows us to understand how the children feel about themselves and their mental strength and how the programme has effected them throughout the period that we run sessions. This questionnaire is filled out after the first session, so they have some experience of thinking about mental strength skills first. The results are shared with the school at the end so they have measurable results and can use this to help inform their understanding of the individual children.

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