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Jerome Carson, Professor of Psychology at the University of Bolton and Vice-Chair of Trustees for MedEquip4Kids, is set to walk an amazing 180 miles over eight days in July 2024 from Manchester to Walsingham in Norfolk.

Professor Carson hopes to raise an incredible £50,000 through sponsorship to fund the charity’s Hummingbird Project, an evidence-based programme making significant improvements to young people’s mental health. To date the project has benefited over 5,000 pupils in primary and secondary schools across Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire.

In 2017, after witnessing the alarming rise in mental health problems in children, MedEquip4Kids joined in partnership with the University of Bolton to launch the Hummingbird Project, a six-week programme of workshops based on Positive Psychology, a field in which Professor Carson is one of the leading experts.

The six-week course increases resilience, happiness and wellbeing by teaching young people concepts such as character strengths, gratitude, kindness, mindfulness, and hope. The Hummingbird Project is now backed by a research team of academics from the Universities of Bolton and Chester and the Open University.

Each year, evaluations of the Hummingbird Project have shown consistent improvements in wellbeing and reductions in symptoms of anxiety and depression. We are now planning to expand the project into new regions of the UK, but we need funding to make this happen.

Professor Carson says: “I believe ‘an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.’ If we can intervene before problems develop, we can transform the lives of our young people. I have started the fund with a £2,500 personal donation and will be covering all my own expenses on the walk, so that all the money raised will go to the charity. We owe it to our children to give them the best possible start in life.”

So far £12,500 has been raised towards the £50,000 target. If you can support better mental health and wellbeing for young people, please sponsor Professor Carson via his Just Giving page.

Every £50 donated will ensure that another child benefits from the invaluable lifelong skills learned through the Hummingbird Project, bringing them increased happiness and life satisfaction.

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“The new outdoor area will boost mood and morale, creating social opportunities in a safe space free from medical interventions and providing distraction from pain and illness. It offers play opportunities for siblings too, helping to normalise the hospital environment and bridge the gap between home and hospital.”

Gillian Heer
Starlight Children’s Unit Manager
Wythenshawe Hospital

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