Over 60 guests, including children’s mental health professionals, teachers, charity supporters, and representatives from local media and the business community attended the launch at the Virgin Money Lounge in the centre of Manchester to find out more about the new Hummingbird Project. The project, which is being developed by MedEquip4Kids in partnership with the University of Bolton, aims to support young people by providing emotional wellbeing training in secondary schools across the North West.
Ghazala Baig, Chief Executive of MedEquip4Kids, gave an introduction to the charity and its long history of supporting children’s healthcare. She said: “As a result of our work funding resources for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) we became increasingly aware of the crisis in children and young people’s mental health. We wanted to take a more active role in tackling the crisis, and that was how our partnership with Bolton came about.”
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham offered his support and highlighted that when mental health problems are left untreated, they can lead to serious consequences such as homelessness. Andy said: “There’s a growing call from young people for more support with their own mental health and wellbeing, their own resilience, to navigate what out there is an increasingly challenging world. That’s why the Hummingbird Project is so right, so of the moment. It’s really answering the call coming from young people.”
Jerome Carson, Professor of Psychology at Bolton University, explained more about the background to the project and the key concepts of Positive Psychology. He said: “The Hummingbird Project is going to be an eight-week intervention delivered in schools to year 7 pupils, which will be co-designed with young people themselves. It will in part be delivered by the project worker but also young people with lived experience of mental health problems themselves. It will focus on grit, growth mindset, and helping people identify their unique strengths.”
Brian White, Chairman of MedEquip4Kids, thanked the speakers and guests for supporting this exciting new step for the charity. Afterwards everyone stayed around to chat. Thank you so much to you all for making it such a positive evening.
A special thank you to Andy Burnham for giving up his time to be with us, to the Virgin Money Lounge for their excellent hospitality on the night and to Grand Pacific for kindly providing the fabulous canapes.
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