Karen, Training Lead

Meet Karen           Contact Karen

My task as the trainer is to deliver our suicide prevention or mental health training. My day starts with setting up to delivery training. Often, we have learners on our courses who have lived experience or who have experienced loss of friends or family members due to suicide, this requires a sensitive and empathetic touch to ensure that lived experience is acknowledged and I finely balance giving them the freedom to express themselves, whilst being aware of the impact and wellbeing of the rest of the group. Maintaining that balance can sometimes be hard as I never know what's going to happen until the conversation starts, but with the help of the colleague supporting me, we ensure all the learner’s needs are met.  

I want all learners to have a great experience on the session and feel heard and understood.  One of the first things I was told as a mental health trainer, was that attending this type of training changes people, whether that be temporarily or permanently, it changes their attitudes, gives them a different perspective, and they in turn can make a difference to someone else. I'm always on my toes when delivering training as I want my learners to walk away having made a positive impact on them and also making a positive difference to their attitude.

The rest of my day is spent answering enquiries about training or arranging meetings, often learners or businesses know what they want from training but often they don't, and I advise those interested around the best products that suit their needs. This sometimes involves deeper investigation through virtual consultations to be able to fully understand what might be going on for a business to ensure they get the most appropriate support, taking into consideration best practice, the needs of the employers and the needs of the employees. 

I see being a trainer, providing consultation around mental health and representing a local Mind, as a big responsibility but a special one too.  It's always nice to hear from organisations and learners who have utilised their training, changed their attitudes or saved a life.  But I also might never know the difference I've made following a training session or delivery a product, but knowing there's a chance I might have made a difference to someone's life or changed attitudes within an organisation is enough.

Hannah, Children and Young People’s Lead

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Today started with me contacting my team, our Project Coordinators for young people, who work across Lancashire delivering face-to-face and virtual wellbeing and resilience sessions in schools. They work across many different projects, so it is really important that we catch-up on a regular basis. They can be delivering whole-class preventative programmes like Bounce Forward or they could be working 1:1 with a young person through our wellbeing coaching service, so they need regular supervision to ensure their own wellbeing is okay, and that the service is going smoothly, and any issues are being addressed.

This was followed by development work, this may mean I go into schools or colleges to visit to see how we can help them, it may be some bespoke work with a class, group, or individuals. We like to work with schools to meet the needs of their pupils, so we can have the best impact to support young people to strengthen their wellbeing and resilience. I also work on the projects to check if any changes need to be made to delivery or the service, we take feedback from the young people and very much use their feedback to develop our programmes, giving them more of a voice. I have been liaising with a contact from a youth organisation in Lancashire, to see if we can reach out to their young people to pilot our Youth Advisory Group materials. Working with the youth organisation means we can reach more young people in different settings to schools.

The rest of the day is spent looking at potential funding opportunities for our work with young people and developing evidence to support our bids. We can develop case studies to help us with this. Today we worked on the case study of Chloe, a looked after child who recently has been doing some 1:1 work with one of our Project Coordinators, to help develop her resilience. She has taken part in six sessions to look at practical coping strategies that she can use when times get tough. The feedback from the school spoke about how much of an impact the sessions had on Chloe. Chloe felt more confident to face new experiences and was ready to move to her new school.

Chris, Community Development Coordinator

Meet Chris            Contact Chris

To start the day, I contacted a new group of participants for our Community Wellbeing Challenge to confirm the date and time of the first week. Our community wellbeing challenge is a 12-week project in which a group of volunteers come together, develop their knowledge around wellbeing and employability skills to create their own community wellbeing asset. Examples from previous challenge include wellbeing walks and peer support groups. From delivering these challenges seeing individuals develop their confidence and employability skills is key to the heart of our work.

After this, I visited a local charity to discuss how we can work together in the future, I often visit a range of local organisations to promote our offers around wellbeing and regularly see organisations without a wellbeing focus to attempt to reach the people who may not have had the opportunity discuss wellbeing before. These community links are important to allow us to create a Lancashire that understands mental health and wellbeing with the aim to reduce the level of stigma and discrimination around mental health.

In the evening, I delivered a wellbeing workshop for a local charity. I offer a variety of times to deliver workshops to allow everybody in the community to access them whether they are in work during the day or looking after their family. These workshops are a universal offer that allows everybody in the community to access wellbeing support and develop their own knowledge around the subject. Through this discussion, one member of the group comes to me after the session asking to be referred into our wellbeing coaching team for some 1-1 support.

Sarah, Head of Services

Meet Sarah                Contact Sarah

 As I oversee both our Children and Young People's services along with our adult projects and wellbeing coaching service, no two days are the same! Today started with a partnership meeting for a new project we are delivering in Blackburn with Darwen. We are working in partnership with Shelter to support people aged 16 to 35. We will be providing wellbeing support in the form of coaching and Shelter will be supporting people with finance, housing and benefits. The meeting was really positive; both organisations are keen to work effectively together and we see first-hand how housing and finances can impact on mental health and vice versa. 

My next task was supporting a member of staff who had a safeguarding concern regarding one of their service users. I work with the coach to make sure that the service user is fully supported and referred onto a specialist support agency. 

I then had the pleasure of supporting one of our Bounce Forward sessions in a primary school. Bounce forward is our universal resilience programme teaching children how to bounce back from tough times. I had great fun getting involved with the children who were doing an exercise around team work - they had to build a tower of plastic cups with only some cotton wool, elastic bands, blu tack and string! The children had to work together and persevere to build their towers and it was great to see how they adopted techniques they had learnt through the Bounce forward programme to succeed. 

My day finished with a senior management team meeting where we discussed the upcoming Lancashire Mind awards centred on our values: Real, Bold, Caring and Open. We have asked staff to vote for their colleagues and explain how they think their colleague demonstrates the value. We've had an amazing response and it shows what an amazing staff team we have at Lancashire Mind. 

Amy, Children and Young People's Lead

Meet Amy          Contact Amy

My day to day role consists of supporting our Children and Young People’s Project Coordinators in their role, overseeing our projects running in both schools and the community, and meeting with colleagues, our Senior Management Team, as well as new contacts in order to grow Lancashire Mind.

My day started with a drive to West Lancashire, where I met with a school who we are looking to build a new relationship with. The meeting was really positive, and the school loved the sound of our Bounce Forward and Coaching offers! We are seeing the demand for our young people’s services growing consistently, and it is brilliant to be able to offer staff and pupils services that they really need.

Next on my list was a coaching session with a young person I have been seeing for 1:1 sessions. I have recently stepped into my new role, so I am rounding off some existing work to ensure a consistent experience for the young people who use our services. CYP Wellbeing Coaching is something we have really developed over the past year, and our
virtual offer has been received brilliantly. All our coaches put a lot into
their role and see some amazing outcomes for those they work with.

Like many people who work for and with the organisation, I have personal experience of anxiety and depression. As days can get very busy, and we all care about the work we do, it’s extremely important that we all look out for our own and each other’s wellbeing. One way I like to do this is to get out for some fresh air at lunch time, and connect with my colleagues even when working from home.

Hazel, Children and Young People’s Coordinator 

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I currently work in the CYP team as a children and young people's project coordinator, my day can vary depending on what projects I am working on.

My typical week looks at me seeing 10 young people for online coaching, the aim of coaching is to boost wellbeing and implement strategies and techniques for the young person to use when they feel they are struggling. Each session is tailored to the young person and their needs and we focus on specific topics that they may be struggling with. For example today I have helped a young girl set herself some goals to cope with exam stress for her upcoming GCSE's, another client wanted to focus on anger and in today's session we looked at keeping an anger diary, the aim of this is to look at triggers of what causes anger and to then look at the consequences of his actions. Each session can vary and we will also talk about situations that are 'real' to the young person and looking at solutions to help in the future.

I also work on one more project where I go into schools and work with certain pupils on a 1:1 basis, this is called paid for work where the school use their funds to support young people when needed. The aim of these sessions are to build resilience and a better understanding of emotions and mental health as a whole. Currently I am working with primary school aged pupils and they have access to 6 sessions. We have sessions that are interactive and creative, this helps embed what we are talking about and can help talk about a serious matter in a way that can be accessed by all ages.

By working with the pupils in a 1:1 session, it means I can ensure the sessions are tailored to their understanding and learning needs and if we need to go back over a certain topic eg- emotions we are able to do that as it will benefit the young person and their learning. These sessions are to also boost confidence and more self awareness of themselves.

My job is extremely rewarding and I feel very privileged to be able to help so many young people across Lancashire.

Lancashire Mind is a company limited by guarantee (company number 3888655) and a registered charity in England and Wales (registered number 1081427) at 80-82 Devonshire Road, Chorley, Lancs, PR7 2DR. Lancashire Mind are registered with the Fundraising Regulator. For all enquiries, call us on 01257 231660.
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