Hundreds more children and young people in Wolverhampton will receive support with their emotional and mental wellbeing after the HeadStart programme was extended for an extra year.

HeadStart Wolverhampton works to improve the emotional mental health and wellbeing of 10 to 16 year olds by giving them the skills they need to cope with the challenges of modern life.

It launched in 2016 thanks to £9.5 million in funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. 

With the support of 75 community organisations, HeadStart Wolverhampton has helped over 13,000 young people and 700 parents and carers living in 4 key areas of the city – Low Hill, Bushbury and The Scotlands; Blakenhall, All Saints, Parkfields and Ettingshall; Heath Town, Park Village, Eastfield, Springfield and Old Heath; and Bilston East – over the last 4 years.

It has also been instrumental in helping shape Wolverhampton’s Youth Engagement Strategy, #YES, which launched in January and aims to help children and young people in the city feel healthy, connected and have the confidence to be themselves.
The National Lottery Community Fund has today announced that additional funds will be allocated to HeadStart Wolverhampton, 1 of 6 HeadStart programmes across the country, to extend it until 2022. 

The programme, which has been exploring and testing different ways of helping young people improve their emotional and mental wellbeing, will now look at what has worked well and look to embed this into future policy and practise – ensuring that young people in the city will continue to receive support for years to come.

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at City of Wolverhampton Council said: “We are delighted that the HeadStart Wolverhampton programme is to be extended for an extra year until 2022. 

“Since 2016, it has provided vital support to thousands of children and young people in Wolverhampton, helping them to improve their emotional and mental wellbeing.

"This very welcome extension will allow us to further reflect on what we’ve learned from the programme so far and embed this into our future plans so that children and young people continue to get the best possible support, both now and in years to come.

“This will allow them to feel more confident, healthier and better connected and ensure that the future of our city is a bright one.”

Emma Ackerman, Deputy Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “We are delighted to be able to give further funding to the HeadStart partnerships in England thanks to support from National Lottery players.

“This extra money comes at a critical time, as we’re aware that there will be people living with the after effects of the Covid-19 crisis. The funding recognises and supports the long-term nature of these programmes, ensuring that National Lottery money will support both the younger generation with their mental health.”

To find out more about HeadStart Wolverhampton, search for @HeadStartFM on Facebook and Twitter.