Organisations which want to help deliver programmes giving young people the skills they need to cope with the pressures of modern life are being encouraged to find out how they can get involved.

HeadStart Wolverhampton received an £8.8 million grant from Big Lottery Fund in July to enable it to continue offering support to young people aged 10 to 16 for another 5 years.

And schools, health providers, community groups, charities and other organisations are being invited to learn more about the project - and how they could get involved - at a special workshop next week.

The event, at Molineux Stadium on Tuesday 13 September from 9am to 12.30pm, is open to schools, health professionals, voluntary and community sector organisations and other stakeholders and will outline the aims of HeadStart between now and 2021 and discuss ways in which providers can help deliver these ambitions.

Councillor Val Gibson, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "HeadStart has a crucial role to play in improving the mental health and wellbeing of our young people, but the council cannot deliver these services on its own.

"Already, we have worked with dozens of local schools, charities and community groups, and we want to ensure that as many local organisations as possible have the opportunity to play their part in the HeadStart story, so I would encourage them to attend the workshop at Molineux next week to find out more."

Places at the workshop must be reserved in advance by visiting Type=links;Linkid=7499;Title=HeadStart;Target=_blank;. There is no charge to attend the event but places are limited, so please book early.

HeadStart is designed to improve the health and well being of children and young people aged 10 to 16 by giving them the skills they need to cope with issues affecting them.

Following a 2 year pilot, during which the HeadStart programme worked with thousands of young people, the council was told in July that it had been successful in its bid for Big Lottery Funding to continue HeadStart until 2021.

The council is currently carrying out detailed planning for the implementation of phase three of the HeadStart programme, with the first activities due to commence in January 2017.

It will see the HeadStart team carry out further work in schools, with families, community groups and charities to help young people with emotional issues get support. It will also raise awareness of the importance of mental health among adults so that they can spot the early signs of trouble in young people, and both understand what support they can give themselves and where to turn if they need specialist help.

The HeadStart team will also be working to create a consortium of voluntary sector organisations to help provide the new services, and develop four community based "hubs" from which they will be delivered.

It is expected that, by 2018, up to 20,000 young people will be accessing HeadStart's digital, city wide offer of information and support online, with up to 8,000 young people aged 10 to 16 receiving training and support in schools. Hundreds more children aged between 10 and 12 will receive more in depth support through HeadStart programmes, mental health services and the city's Strengthening Families Hubs.

For more details about the HeadStart programme, please visit Type=links;Linkid=6584;Title=HeadStart;Target=_blank;.

  • released: Tuesday 6 September, 2016