“There’s never been a better time to plant this seed and grow this . . .”
- Setting: Service-wide. Local authority schools and workforce
- Location: Powys
- MiSP Curricula: .b Foundations, Paws b and .b
- Age group/s: Adults and young people 7-16
- Author: Linda Gutierrez
- Role: Emotional Health and Wellbeing Lead, Pupil Referral Service South and Mid Powys
About Powys Local Authority
Powys is the largest county in Wales, covering an area of some 2000 square miles, with a small population of around 132,000. Small schools and a workforce covering a wide geographical area makes it a challenge to develop and embed new initiatives. We train staff in a range of evidence-based interventions and, as a local authority, take an inclusive approach to ensure that opportunities for training and support are shared amongst our multi-agency workforce.
- Teach .b
- School Mindfulness Lead
I began my training as a cognitive behavioural therapist, which included a three-day masterclass in depression with Dr Melanie Fennell from Oxford. I was aware of mindfulness, but despite the evidence-base, could not really see me delivering or practising it. From the moment I observed Melanie, so skilfully and profoundly guiding those first practices, I realised that this was something that could become part of me and my work, not just as a therapist but also in my inclusion work in schools.
I was on the hunt for evidence-based practice to address inclusion, attendance and behaviour issues for a Welsh Government pilot. I knew that I wanted to get mindfulness in there, so I turned to MiSP. I trained to teach .b in 2011 and we introduced it into schools.
We were keen to build our toolkit of evidence and ran a small randomised control trial that showed children who took part in .b reported improved wellbeing during a particularly turbulent time in the school compared to their counterparts who did not take part in .b.
Thank you so much to Linda for the inspiring work she is doing. Her talk at the conference is available for Hub members here.