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Barnardo's Let's Connect

Supporting the mental health and wellbeing of whole school communities.

Barnardo’s Let’s Connect team has experience of working across a range of educational settings, delivering evidence-based interventions for children, young people and adults.

We are passionate about supporting schools to achieve an inclusive culture and build school communities which promote good mental health, where everyone feels safe and has the opportunity to thrive. We can provide evidenced based workforce development to equip staff with the skills, knowledge and confidence to support and develop. We have a wealth of experience in supporting the development of a trauma-informed approach. Barnardo’s is a recognised national leader in the voice and influence of children and young people.

Our aim is simple; to provide the best outcomes for every child, no matter who they are or what they have been through.

The prevalence of mental health challenges within children and young people is increasing and unaddressed challenges impact pupil learning and academic outcomes.

There is increasing expectation on school staff to provide wellbeing support to growing numbers of pupils.

Over 80 per cent of teachers report experiencing stress, anxiety, and depression at work, and over 50 per cent report feeling ‘severely’ stressed. (Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Mentally Healthy Schools). Recognising that a pupil or colleague may be struggling can be difficult and supporting the wellbeing of others if you’re struggling with your own wellness can be even more difficult. It is now understood that teachers’ own emotional wellbeing affects classroom management and pupil outcomes (Braun, et al., 2018).

Whole school approach:

In response to this, evidence-based models provide a framework to promote social and emotional wellbeing in schools for the benefit of the individual, the whole school, and the wider community. This requires engagement from all community members with a focus on early identification and intervention alongside a focus on staff wellness too. We know this can be a challenge because, whilst mental health and wellbeing affects us all, not everyone has knowledge of mental health terminology or access to the services.

How we can help:

  • We support schools to develop a whole school approach in delivering effective mental health and wellbeing support for pupils, staff, and the wider school community.
  • We offer a menu of support options which align with latest guidance from NICE, the DfE, Ofsted, the Children’s Commissioner, and the latest published research.
  • We understand the essence of trauma informed practice and can support your school’s understanding of this and what trauma informed practice looks like in a school setting. We can provide training to staff as well as guidance and strategies for staff supporting pupils who are experiencing difficulties, due to the effects of trauma.
  • We support schools to ‘grow their own’ resources by training members of the school community to facilitate evidenced based support programmes. This enables schools to provide sustainable support early and to be more self-reliant and reduce the need to fund external providers.
  • Our support is evidence based and, using our experience and expertise, we can tailor each offer to meet the needs of individual schools and settings.

Wherever your school is on their journey to supporting pupil and staff wellbeing, we’re confident that our support offer can make a positive impact. Our practice is committed to ensuring pupil and staff interests are at the centre of everything we do. We recognise that pupils and staff have strength and resilience which can be developed through connection with our support offer.

To arrange a conversation or visit, email: or telephone Paula Dawson on 07803 441344

You can also visit the newly launched website:


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