Across the district, secondary school students are to benefit from a wellbeing project with the aim of teaching them the skills to look after their emotional and mental health.
Fresh food manufacturer Natures Way Foods and Chichester District Council (CDC)’s Youth Engagement team are launching a project that asks young people to focus on five positive actions they can incorporate into their daily lives, both as individuals and as part of their communities.
The project is the next step for the Natures Way Foods and CDC teams, who since October 2017 have delivered ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ to over 1,100 children at 16 primary schools in the district.
This year, the project is being offered to secondary school pupils for the first time. It follows a successful pilot scheme last year involving a group of young carers of the same age group, all of whom said they learnt new strategies to use in their daily lives.
The ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ actions include Connect, which encourages children to strengthen and broaden their range of relationships and social networks, as well as to spend time with their friends and family whilst staying safe on the internet. It also features ‘Be active’, an element for people of all ages, which does not need to be intensely physical but encourages people to raise their heartbeat and have fun.
Other actions include ‘Keep learning’, taking learning, skills and ideas out of the classroom; ‘Take notice’, asking children to take time to stop, become aware of their surroundings and listen to their thoughts and feelings about them; and ‘Give’, focusing on how giving and receiving acts of kindness, small or large, can make people feel happier and more satisfied about life.
Stephanie Jones, business insight and communications manager, Natures Way Foods, said: “We are so pleased with the great results of this programme and the positive impact it’s having on young people’s lives.
“When we first partnered with the CDC Five Ways to Wellbeing team, we talked about expanding to the local secondary schools and it’s great to see that this is happening.”
Cllr Eileen Lintill, CDC cabinet member for community services, said: “I am very pleased we are continuing to work with Natures Way Foods on this important project and that we are now able to offer it to older children in the district.
“Five Ways to Wellbeing shows children some essential ways to help them look after their emotional wellbeing both now and as they progress in their lives ... Five Ways is about helping children learn how to approach life in general so that they can keep well.”