A pioneering project, which helps North East children develop essential life skills and coping strategies, has proved so successful it has been extended to a second year
In an initiative believed to be a UK first, Consett-based social enterprise Living Mindfully was commissioned by Public Heath, County Durham Council to deliver The Living Mindfully in Schools Programme in secondary schools throughout the county.
And the scheme has proved so beneficial it is not only set to continue, but Living Mindfully hopes other counties will follow Durham’s lead and incorporate it into their school curricula.
Mindfulness, which is recommended by NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence), for depression, has also been shown to have a positive impact upon stress, anxiety, and chronic pain and can improve self-esteem.
Last year, Living Mindfully worked with teachers and pupils at 11 schools across County Durham and will work with a further nine in the coming year.
It will also hold five, specialist courses for young carers and children aged between 11 and 18 who may be vulnerable or at risk.
Consett Academy, County Durham, has already run mindfulness training for 12 students and two staff members, who now intend to become trainers for mindfulness, so they can implement their learning to support students at the school.
Assistant Principal, Mike Stokoe, said: “The students felt that the sessions offered something different and allowed them to see life from a new perspective.
“They felt it supported them in controlling their stress levels and heightened focus in the key exam period. Mindfulness is now an approach that stakeholders at Consett Academy can choose to use to help them develop an optimum work/life balance and self-wellbeing.”
Living Mindfully’s Mindfulness in School project leader, Jill Cox, said: “Bringing mindfulness to the classroom allows the pupils to develop an awareness of their actions and reactions and the impact of these.
“Learning mindfulness at such an important developmental stage can benefit these children for the rest of their lives.”
For more information about Living Mindfully, its courses and referral requirements, call 01207 693909 or visit its website at www.livingmindfully.co.uk.Anyone interested in training to teach mindfulness in schools, or who would like further information, can email firstname.lastname@example.org