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STFC Community Foundation launch the Trailblazer Programme in Schools


Posted Apr 22, 2021

The Swindon Town FC Community Foundation is delighted to be supporting Barnardo’s Swindon Trailblazer — Project Me in partnership with Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BSWCCG).

We will be delivering mentoring programmes across 14 Swindon Primary Schools as well as holiday camps for children with mild to moderate mental health problems. Young people who are home-schooled or not in education or training will be able to access session at our Foundation Park through the Trailblazer-Project Me outreach team; and we can offer an additional 25 places for our scholarship programme.

The programme is based around non-traditional learning and mentoring through physical activity and focusses on topics such as communication, resilience, relationships, teamwork and well-being. We are hoping to include particularly those children who do not engage with PE lessons, which can be due to a number of reasons such as low self-esteem, dyspraxia or body image or simply by not being in school at the moment. We will start by working with participants individually with the aim to gradually move them into group and team-based activities as the project progresses. 

Project Me’ was launched last year as part of the national Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs) in education initiative. It is an early intervention service in Swindon for children and young people aged 5 – 19 offering short-term low intensity CBT interventions, therapeutic groups, non-clinical outreach work, education around mental health and well-being, therapeutic groups and training for education staff. 

There is a mental health crisis amongst young people in this country, and the current pandemic situation is only making this worse. Our coaches will be mentoring young people to help them develop coping strategies and build resilience to improve their healthy mental wellbeing. We are proud to be working in partnership with Barnado’s and the BSWCCG to try and identify and combat this, to create a positive future for the children of Swindon.“

Jon Holloway, Head of Foundation
The link between physical activity and psychological wellbeing is well researched. But team sport can teach children and young people so much more than just exercise. As we are slowly coming out of lockdown it can help break social isolation, support social and emotional development and foster resilience in a fun and non-directive way. In the STFC Community Foundation we have found an experienced partner to deliver this exciting new programme in the Swindon Community, thus widening our early help offer to children and young people in Swindon.”

Britta Stephan, Children’s Service Manager at Barnardo’s Swindon Trailblazer
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