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Since this week is Children’s Mental Health Week, we’re bringing you the latest news on MedEquip4Kids Hummingbird Project, which we’re taking into secondary schools to help tackle the growing crisis in children’s mental health. We’re delighted to report that since its launch at the end of last year the project has supported 650 young people across four secondary schools in Greater Manchester and four schools in Cheshire. 

MedEquip4Kids Hummingbird Project consists of a bespoke six-week course developed by psychologists from the University of Bolton with input from young people. The programme is delivered by MedEquip4Kids’ Project Co-ordinator alongside trained volunteers. Topics covered include: Mental Health and Stigma, Happiness and Wellbeing, Resilience and Character Strengths, Growth Mindsets, Hope and Gratitude, and Mindfulness.

We chose the Hummingbird as a symbol for the project because it represents balance, persistence, resilience, lightness and enjoying the sweetness (nectar) of life. 

Here’s what students have said so far about the course:

 “This project was good because I got to know what my strengths are, and about happiness.”

“I learnt about topics that people usually don’t teach you about.”

“I enjoyed the mindfulness exercises. I learnt a lot about keeping happy. I think that it made me be happy. The project makes you know more about mental health problems and how to avoid them.”

“I enjoyed this Hummingbird Project because I think that it has helped me think twice about what I do and helps me be more grateful for what I do.”

MedEquip4Kids has a long track record of improving children’s health by providing equipment and facilities not available from limited NHS resources. After funding resources for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) for a number of years, we decided to get more directly involved in preventing mental health problems in children and young people by delivering wellbeing education in schools.

The project was officially launched by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham at an event in Manchester.

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“The switch adapted toys have been a wonderful addition to our school. Both staff and children were thrilled to have some new exciting resources. The children love the lights and movement many of these switch toys have and are highly motivated to explore and investigate how to make them work. They have been great for pupils to develop their understanding of cause and effect and we have also noticed improved concentration and engagement when using them. Often it can be difficult to find toys that are robust enough to withstand lots of heavy use AND be interesting and fun. These new resources tick all those boxes. They have made a noticeable impact on the children’s development in this area.”

Sophie Martindale
Acorns Primary School, Lancashire

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