Help us provide lifelong toolkits for school communities to help them flourish.
What are the practical skills that schools can teach to the next generation of schoolchildren to support their mental health and well-being? Our expert mindfulness curricula provide lifelong toolkits to children, young people, teachers and whole school communities to help them flourish. Please support our A Million Minds Matter Appeal to help us reach one million minds over the next five years.
Stories emerge daily about the crisis in mental health services and the need to promote well-being and resilience in our children. The challenges facing our young people are unprecedented. Pressures on our schools and their staff have never been greater. A mindfulness toolkit can help prevent issues from arising, as well as providing skills to deal with challenges when they do appear.
How can we address this?
What self-care skills can we give to our children to help them learn how to manage increasingly complex social pressures? What practical tools can we offer school leaders to face the national crisis in teacher recruitment and retention?
Mindfulness trains the mind to notice what is happening in the present moment rather than what has happened or might happen. We have all felt moments of panic or stress, worry or anger, or times when our thoughts seem to spiral out of control. Mindfulness trains us to notice these difficult mind-states and manage them more skilfully and kindly. It gives us a fundamental toolkit to safeguard our mental health and be able to thrive in any given situation. The benefits of mindfulness have been endorsed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and ‘mindfulness’ has become part of common parlance. But how can the children who most need it be taught what it is and how it can help them?
1 in 4 children show some evidence of poor mental health (Young Minds Trust 2017)
- 50% of those with lifetime mental illness experience symptoms by the age of 14 (Public Health England 2016)
- Between 2011 and 2014 there was a 68% increase in self harm incidence of girls aged 13-16 years old (British Medical Journal 2017)
The leading provider of mindfulness training in schools.
Our charity, Mindfulness in Schools Project, is the most established provider of mindfulness training for schools, delivering world-leading curricula for classroom-based mindfulness. Our materials are based on rigorous research in clinical psychology and neuroscience, written by teachers for teachers, and used successfully in a wide range of educational contexts.
Over the past ten years we have established our reputation for providing the gold standard of mindfulness training and materials for the class room. We ensure that our schools can access the most professional, proven training programme which can be securely embedded so that young people truly benefit from what they are being taught.
We train teachers thoroughly and in depth to deliver our highly respected curricula. Our process ensures that teachers are mindfulness practitioners and experience the benefits themselves before they share their knowledge with pupils. This is the best way to ensure we make a lasting improvement to children’s lives. Once they have trained with us, teachers use our materials with class after class, generating value on their initial investment year after year. This means our programme is cost-effective and self-sustaining for schools. Our curricula have been translated into 12 languages and is used worldwide.
A lifelong toolkit for children and adults …
What we deliver is not a quick fix. Our schools know that embedding the programme properly is crucial if young people are truly to benefit from what they are being taught. But we – and they – don’t shy away from that.
Our mindfulness courses provide a life skill that pupils can come back to time after time, equipping them to handle their own thoughts and feelings, teaching them to concentrate, withstand distractions, be more confident, and as some of our past participants have so movingly told us, cope when confronted by crisis.
Our programme can provide life-changing benefits for teachers too, who can use mindfulness to better cope with stress and find a better balance in their lives and careers. We have already trained almost 5,000 teachers and reached an estimated 350,000 children in the past eight years.
But we need to do more.
- 79% of teachers have reported experiencing work-related anxiety (NASUWT Survey, 2016).
- “High quality education cannot be delivered by stressed and anxious teachers.” – Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT
Support our appeal – we need your help
Schools are increasingly struggling to send their teachers on our intensive training courses, due both to funding constraints and time pressures. Whole school communities are missing out on the far-reaching benefits of our mindfulness training.
The core funding for our charity has drastically decreased. The reduction in income from our training courses means that our charity cannot continue to introduce mindfulness to the next generation of school children, and we will struggle to provide new resources and ongoing support to our existing school network.
Our ambition is to reach one million minds within the next five years.
To achieve this, we need to:
- Provide 1,000 financially supported places to teachers, to ensure that cost is not a barrier to access.
- Host 150 additional Introduction to Mindfulness for Adults courses for teachers and parents (.begin) to enable them to bring mindfulness into their schools.
- Campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of mindfulness within schools for teachers and for children and how to differentiate mindfulness from other relation and calming techniques: providing information as the go-to expert on mindfulness to every school.
- Develop and deliver a new short four-week Introduction to Mindfulness for Children course (.breathe) to compliment our existing curricula, providing particular support around the transition from primary to secondary school (years 5, 6 and 7). Our ambition is for this short course to be free for every state-maintained school to access.
- Develop and disseminate comprehensive high-quality curricula for Early Years, Key Stage 1 and 16-19 Education, to complement our .b and Paws b Mindfulness in Practice curricula, safeguarding mindfulness best-practice teaching for children throughout their education.
- Develop additional resources and provide ongoing expert support to our network of teachers, senior leaders, parents and governors via our Hub, maintaining the highest standards for mindfulness as an educational discipline, growing our community and enabling them to continue to deliver our curricula to new cohorts of schoolchildren each year.
We urgently need to raise £250,000 each year to fund this. Without these funds we will be unable to reach these children and we will have to scale back the support we can offer existing schools.
An evaluation of our programme found that “mindfulness interventions can improve the mental, emotional, social and physical health and well-being of young people who take part. It was shown to reduce stress, anxiety, reactivity and bad behaviour, improve sleep and self-esteem, and bring about greater calmness and relaxation.” (Mental Health Foundation 2016)
Please help us continue this important work.
Please give generously: We welcome ANY donations or sponsorship you can provide.
£775 will sponsor one teacher with no previous mindfulness experience to train from scratch to deliver our existing mindfulness curricula within a school via a supported place.
£1,500 will sponsor ten teachers to attend an Introduction to Mindfulness for Adults course (.begin).
£1,200 will sponsor our Information Campaign enabling us to publish accurate information about mindfulness and myth-bust each month.
£110 will sponsor free access to our four-week Introduction to Mindfulness for Children course (.breathe) for one class, costing only £3.58 per child.
£3,600 will sponsor free access to .breathe for 1,000 children.
£25,000 will sponsor the development of a suite of new curricula so that all children have the opportunity to access a mindfulness curriculum appropriate to their age and their ability.
£1,200 enables us to continue to provide expert support to our community via our Hub for one month.
£40 will sponsor a single instructor-led online Hub Sit, a session bringing together our community in regular mindful practice.
£250 will sponsor a local information session to bring mindfulness to new communities around the UK.
Alternatively, for £195 (£150 for state maintained UK schools) train with us and get your own introduction to mindfulness with our .begin course. This is a fantastic, instructor-led, live, internet-based, 8-week introduction to mindfulness course where you can learn the benefits of mindfulness yourself.
We would love to hear from you – please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or to discuss sponsorship options or substantial donations in more detail, please email us: email@example.com
Please support us! Go to our How To Support MiSP page.
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