Supporting Young Minds
1. Brief Overview of SYM:
SYM will be a student-led ongoing volunteering project run by students at the University of Nottingham. It will involve meeting up with primary aged children and running workshops designed to encourage confidence, self-esteem and address mental health issues through small group and 1:1 games and activities. There will also be scope for larger events to be organised eg: an awards presentation to celebrate the achievements of the children we work with.
There is a lot of stigma regarding mental health issues and the support available for primary school aged children is extremely limited. Presentations in schools are very expensive and do not offer the support or guidance which is required in making permanent changes in a child’s confidence or self-esteem. In whole-class activities, there is often limited participation from those who could benefit the most and lasting changes are those which derive from repeated messages and prolonged support however SYM are happy to engage in whole class activities should this be appropriate for the setting we are working with.
3. Aims and Objectives:
a. To acknowledge and address issues of self-esteem and confidence in primary school aged children in our local community, issues which are often neglected at this age.
b. To raise awareness of the importance of confidence and mental health in young children.
c. To work with schools, youth clubs and other organisations to make a positive difference within the community.
d. To give children support and encouragement tailored to their individual needs and requirements, avoiding the regimented prescriptive style of self-help programmes.
e. To make children feel as though they’re being treated as an individual
f. To give children the opportunity to develop and showcase transferrable skills and qualities which they can build upon in their secondary education.
g. To give children a rewarding and enjoyable experience, where they have someone to confide in.
h. To give every child we work with something to take away from the project.
i. To give the children we work with the chance to try something new and the chance to organise or create something which they are proud of.
j. To get to know the children we run workshops for and celebrate their own qualities and achievements.
k. To prioritise the safeguarding of the children we work with and seek external support if we believe there is a genuine concern for a child’s safety and wellbeing.