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HeadStart Hull (Targeted Group Support)

Background

Barnardo’s Hull has delivered WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) interventions to young people in secondary schools since 2017, as part of the HeadStart Hull delivery programme. We have successfully extended delivery of WRAP support to primary school children, school staff and staff across Barnardo’s services nationally to support their emotional wellbeing and mental health.

In 2020 the national lockdowns (due to Covid-19) prevented delivery of face-to-face WRAP support to children and young people. In response, Barnardo’s Hull designed Let’s Connect, a virtual intervention, to ensure group work remained an option in our support of children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health.

The design of Barnardo’s Let’s Connect programme is informed by WRAP and CBT approaches.

About WRAP

WRAP (http://mentalhealthrecovery.com/wrap-is/) is a prevention and wellness process that anyone can use to get well, stay well and make their life more the way they want it to be through a series of tools and action plans called a WRAP. It is a process for anyone who wants to make positive changes in the way they feel and react to life. WRAP enables participants to plan, in advance, what they can do to keep themselves emotionally ‘on track’ and help build a foundation to support themselves to stay emotionally well. The benefits can be life-long.

WRAP is an evidenced-based model which has proven effectiveness in improving resilience, emotional wellbeing, mental health, self-management, empowerment, goal achievement and quality of life. WRAP has dual benefits as a preventative model and in supporting existing emotional wellbeing / mental health difficulties.

A WRAP programme can help participants to:

      • understand what impacts on their emotional/mental health
      • know what they need to do each day to feel emotionally well
      • prevent/decrease troubling feelings/situations/behaviours
      • increase coping strategies and confidence
      • notice small signs of problems and take action before problems get bigger
      • identify supporters who can help when needed
      • bounce back from setbacks
      • create personal/individualised WRAP plans

WRAP includes a focus on recovery topics including healthy diets, exercise, and sleep, thus extending the benefits of the programme to participant’s physical health.

Both WRAP and Let’s Connect groups are not ‘issue specific’ but allow participants to focus on and action plan individual issues/challenges they are experiencing. The scope, thus, becomes limitless as participants’ application of learning from the groups can be transferred to support future challenges and life-long change (examples: anxiety, low mood, relationships, exam/work stress, anger, smoking cessation, isolation, pain management etc.).

Evaluation and Feedback

Impact of WRAP delivery to children and young people

Children, young people, parents, and carers have helped us to assess the impact of our WRAP delivery within HeadStart over the past three years. Feedback from over 1200 children, young people and their parents/carers has been used to enhance and develop Barnardo’s WRAP delivery in the Hull service and evidence effectiveness of the WRAP model.

Some of the comments from children and young people 20-21:

  • 'You have got to get me and you get me.' Age 11
  • 'You have made me feel less worried and I know I will be able to handle it now.' Age 11
  • 'I liked being able to talk to someone and it has made a difference as I'm not so lonely. I looked forward to them (sessions). I feel alright.' Age 12
  • 'In group I was able to talk about my feelings without getting upset but I think I still need to practice this in school.' Age 12
  • 'I think group has helped me to feel closer to my brother.' Age 14
  • 'I think I am better at dealing with strong feelings.' Age 15
  • 'As the weeks have gone on I feel more confident in the social side of group. I think I can be more resilient to bullies and I know how to think more positive about things.' Age 14

Impact of WRAP delivery to adults.

Barnardo’s has delivered WRAP to different adult audiences including school staff and Barnardo’s staff from various services nationally. Some key outcomes for participants who attended WRAP are summarised as follows:

    • Increased understanding and application of self-management strategies for use in everyday life.
    • Increased confidence and knowledge of taking active steps to encourage and support individual wellbeing.
    • The benefit of making new connections with colleagues.
    • The learning and reflection from the course supported improvements in the lives of those who participated.

Some comments include:

  • ‘The key elements of this course are so insightful and useful, not only on a personal level but also as a practitioner. It will enhance my work practice and how we can help the most vulnerable young children we work with.’
  • ‘I was engaged throughout - learning theory, practical ideas, learning about myself, support from colleagues – I’m much more confident going forward in my practice.’
  • ‘This is something that will stay with me and be part of my motivation to become more self-sufficient.’
  • ‘Arguably the best course I’ve attended - the whole WRAP experience was great, and I feel better equipped in dealing with life’s obstacles.’

More detailed key learning and evaluation information is available about Barnardo’s use of WRAP with adults from paula.dawson@barnardos.org.uk

Transition Support

Alongside Barnardo’s Hull delivery of WRAP and design of the Let’s Connect programme, we also created two new resources for use in primary schools which were shared with schools. ‘Stepping into Secondary School’ is a guide to support year 6 with transition which we created in response to the cancellation of usual transition events due to the national lock down (and have used again this year to facilitate whole class transition-themed interventions in Hull primary schools).

‘Return to School Life After Lockdown’ is a guide we created for KS2 pupils to support them in being mind-set ready for their return to school last September https://www.educators-barnardos.org.uk/media/mahpc11j/returning-to-school-life-after-lockdown.pdf

Barnardo's Hull can offer whole class transition support and targeted transition support to year six pupils moving to secondary school.  The service has a tailor-made booklet to support pupils and parents with transition which has also proven beneficial within secondary schools during the first weeks when pupils are asked to bring their booklets to school to support ‘getting to know you exercises.’

Evaluations and feedback are consistently high:

      • 100% of young people who engaged reported feeling better than they did about moving to secondary school.
      • 100% of young people who engaged met others in the group that were going to their secondary school.
      • 100% of young people who engaged reported feeling more prepared to attend secondary school.
      • 100% of young people reported that they would recommend the transition service to a friend.

Supporting transition during a pandemic.

We have redesigned our face-to-face transition programme to create an intervention that can be delivered effectively on a virtual platform for pupils in year 6. This supports the delivery of multiple transition-themed groups for year 6 pupils. Our virtual transition groups are designed to help year 6 children to:

  • share hopes and positive expectations about moving up
  • discuss worries and fears about starting secondary school
  • explore, learn and share ways of managing worries and fears
  • meet others moving to the same school (virtually)
  • introduce the group to a member of support services staff and their school transition lead
  • complete a virtual school tour together
  • share /support concerns about moving schools
  • answer questions about what secondary school is like.

Feedback from children about our virtual transition groups includes:

  • 'At first, I was really nervous about moving to secondary school, since the group I feel much better.'
  • 'I feel good about sharing my feelings in the group.'
  • 'The sessions were amazing I liked meeting new people and I got to fill things in in the booklet.'
  • 'You really made me more confident about going to secondary school.'
  • 'I feel more excited about going to secondary school and most of my worries are gone.'

Additional feedback received from parents / carers on the virtual transition support groups includes:

  • 'He has changed and is more prepared now.  He enjoyed the group but didn’t want to come on at first.'
  • 'I really appreciate the support that was given, he’s less nervous now.  (*Parent also fed back that it has been helpful to have had a face-to-face visit for consents etc, as this helped with the language barrier - English was a second language).'
  • 'It’s a great service, I’m glad she’s been able to do it. It’s hard for them because they can’t cope with their emotions.'
  • 'He feels really good about it, confident and more relaxed.'
  • 'Everything has been wonderful. First class and all about the children.'
  • 'He wasn’t sure about it at first and didn’t want to do it but then he’s been really looking forward to coming on each time.'
  • 'It’s been good, yeah. I think she’s really enjoyed it and not got any worries anymore.'

PSHE & School Assemblies

A range of tailor-made programmes have been developed for primary and secondary school assemblies and PSHE lessons informed by WRAP and CBT approaches

To contact the service to discuss your schools’ or services specific needs please email:     Paula.Dawson@barnardos.org.uk

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