York City FC Foundation

Helping Young Children Cope with their Young Lives

“Where’s Your Head At” initiative was designed to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing amongst Key Stage 2 children in the school setting, and provide them with the skills, coping strategies and resilience to prevent poor mental health, based on public health guidance, which highlights that children’s social and emotional well-being affects not only their mental health but also their physical health and can determine how well they do at school.

The programme aimed to help young people recognise their emotions and feel confident enough to speak out and discuss them. Modern life is increasingly stressful and can impact on mental health, so implementing strategies for protecting children from stress and helping them learn to cope with change is an extremely positive influence for their young lives.

The transition to secondary school, and especially with SAT’s, can be a life changing time for a young person. Based on the focus on feelings, and promoting equality of mental health and physical health, the club’s intended outcome was to improve young people’s emotional literacy.

They also included teachers in the programme so staff were also able to use the workshops to help them identify young people who may be experiencing mental distress and provide further sources of support.

The aim was to deliver a free schools outreach programme across North Yorkshire Schools, working with up to 2000 young people aged 8-11, and taking place during late 2018.

YCFC Foundation recognise that it is important for children to have an understanding about health and wellbeing and hopefully by participating in such a programme, they aim to help them acquire the knowledge, attitudes, values and skills needed to adopt healthy lifestyles from a young age. Previous years topics have included anti-bullying; sugar-free; eat, sleep, train, repeat which have all been linked to healthy living habits, however this year they chose a particularly topical theme to challenge an unmet need in local primary schools by tackling Young People’s Mental Health.

What does winning this award mean to the CCO?:

The Foundation aims to make a difference in our Community and we do that every day in everything that we do. This project is one of many that involves the entire staff team, and therefore the Award is credit to their hard work and
commitment. So, it means a great deal for the project to receive recognition for the impact it has made to all of those young people and for the Team’s efforts to be recognised in such a way.

Partner Impacts

Emma Keef, CSR & Engagement Co-ordinator at Benenden Health says “We provide health information relevant to all stages throughout your life, covering health from birth to old age, therefore this outreach programme is a great way of sharing the message with children. The YCFC foundation deliver excellent sessions that will inspire them to get active and keep fit.”
Mr Thompson St Paul’s Primary “Developing healthy bodies and minds is something extremely important to our school. The project is a great initiative that focuses the children’s thoughts on their daily routine and activities using the special diaries provided. The project was really well organised and delivered by YCFC Foundation and all the pupils and teachers thoroughly enjoyed the sessions.”

Osbaldwick Primary School “The idea around the project is very topical at the moment and therefore as a school we were very receptive to work you are doing. Timings were perfect and the classrooms workshop and physical aspect great. The homework challenge was engaging for children.”

How the £5000 prize money will help

This will go towards supporting our move to the new Community Stadium during 2020 and supporting another schools project we are working on to commemorate Bootham Crescent and provide a legacy through the memories of our current Stadium.