Welcome to Project Soothe
Boys in Mind is running a pilot project called Project Soothe at St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Bath. This is an exciting project that has been set up by Professor Stella Chan of Reading University, who is also The Charlie Waller Trust’s Chair in Evidence-based Psychological Treatment. What’s even more exciting is that this is the first time a school in England has been involved! The project is based around evidence that Stella has collected that shows exposure to soothing and calming images makes a positive difference to people’s wellbeing and mental health.
Andrew and Richard from Boys in Mind, together with Stella, led a whole school assembly to talk to the children and staff about the project which will involve as many of the children in the school as possible taking and sending in a photo that calms/soothes/relaxes them, along with a short sentence explaining why they have chosen it. Andrew and Richard showed them some examples of photos that help them feel good to give them some ideas. All images that are sent in will be printed out for the children and Andrew will be working with a film team of around 6 children to make a film about the project and why children have chosen particular images.
The film group will then choose around 25 images to create a display that can be used in school. There will also be slideshows of the images to use in class during reflection time, assemblies or in the entrance foyer.
The plan is to complete the printing and filming in Term 6. Our link teacher, Mrs. Nicole Pecchia, is really excited about Project Soothe and so are we!
Compassion is a strong value at St. Mary’s and so we also intend to share and show our display in other places, for example St. Mary’s Church, Chandler Close Care Home and the RUH, as we hope that our soothing images will help our wider community feel better too. Follow this link to find about more about Project Soothe.
Let’s get busy!
by Richard Bullard
Catch up with our latest Podcasts
Our ‘In Conversation…’ series of short podcasts features young people discussing different aspects of mental health with an emphasis on what helps and what we can all do to support each other. The latest episode focusses on Autism. Our Youth Advisor and podcast host Levi is joined by fellow Boys in Mind Youth Advisor Henry and his friend Nathan who were both diagnosed with Autism when they were children. They explore the impact the diagnosis had on their lives and examine how Autism affects people and what we need to do to elevate Autistic voices in mental health discussions. Listen and find the links for your favourite podcast provider here:
Community Matters -Up and Running
In the April news we talked about Charity Matters, Bath’s newest charity shop that was just about to open its doors for the first time. Well, we’re pleased to tell you that it’s now officially open for business. Community Matters is a local organisation that will be donating all of its profits to a local charity each year and as you will have read in last month’s news, all of their first years profits will be donated to Boys in Mind. So once again a big thank you to Community Matters and if you’ve had a recent clear-out and you’ve got unwanted items that you’d like to donate, please consider dropping them into Community Matters in Chelsea Road. It really will make a difference.
Check back in a few days when we’ll update you with full contact details.
Talk and Walk: Fund-raising with Finn and Jackson
Boys in Mind Primary Champions Finn and Jackson raised a staggering £1000 during their fundraising Walk & Talk! Having previously set us all daily challenges to help boost our own mental wellbeing during lockdown, Finn and Jackson faced their biggest test yet when they took on the 10-mile walk to raise awareness of the importance of talking to combat low mental health.
The boys, who met through their work with Boys in Mind, are a big part of our youth-led organisation and everyone at BiM is amazed by their effort. Proudly wearing their Charlie Waller Trust t-shirts, they set off through the Two Tunnels path in Bath and started ticking off the miles. They shared with the aims of their challenge with interested passers-by and even gained some donations during the walk.
Finn said “I enjoyed it. I got stung a couple of times but me and Jackson kept each other going. We had lots of fun”. Working together, the two Primary Champions more than met their challenge. Jackson told us “The tunnels were challenging because they were dark and you didn’t know how long it was until the end. Finn and I supported each other – as one of our sponsors said ‘It is better to walk with a friend’. I loved going past the farm shop and the kind man who donated to us”.
The pandemic has negatively impacted many people’s mental health while also seriously affecting levels of funding and fundraising for mental health organisations so it’s inspiring to see two 10-year-old champions challenging themselves to raise awareness of men’s mental health.
Feeling inspired by Finn and Jackson’s fundraising efforts? You can still sponsor them here or set up your own fundraising challenge to support Boys in Mind/Girls Mind Too by visiting our JustGiving page!
Will and Tara with Family Based Solutions
Our Youth Advisor Will was invited for a conversation with Ayse Adil and Joe Lettieri of Family Based Solutions in London, a charity that works in situations with child to parent abuse in a Solution Focused manner.
It was also co-hosted by Tara, Boys In Mind/Girls Mind Too’s resident Solution Focus expert! They chatted all about Will’s fascination with Solution Focus and Youth Leadership, and especially how being involved in Boys in Mind/Girls Mind Too has really furthered his passion for bringing young people as experts into the conversation. You can watch the full conversation here.
BiM on the BBC SeeHear
Our film, Elmfield: Boys and Mental Health, gained national coverage when it was featured on See Hear on BBC2 as an example of what can be done to empower boys and young men to talk about their emotions. Research tells us that deaf young people and adults suffer higher levels of mental health problems than hearing young people and adults so we worked with students and staff at Elmfield School for Deaf Children to create a unique film that is full of ideas on what to do when you or a friend is struggling. It’s great to see it getting wider attention.
The BBC team interviewed the young people who contributed to the film and shot behind the scenes footage for their article which also included deaf medical professionals discussing what can be done to raise awareness of men’s mental health and to encourage men to seek help if needed. You can watch the episode here.
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