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HeadStart projects

Headfirst: What’s happening with HeadStart on the ground

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The Big Lottery Fund’s HeadStart is giving a number of areas across England over £5m to pilot ways of helping young people deal with life’s ups and downs.

Starting in September, school and college pupils in Middlesbrough, Cumbria, Blackpool, Knowsley, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Southampton, Kent, Cornwall, Lewisham and Hull will take part in pilot projects to improve young people’s mental health.

Click the images below to find out more:

"People find it hard to talk about certain things especially when it's private or if its related to family problems. They may feel as though they will get judged." Birmingham
"We definitely need emotional support with the pressure and stress of exams and especially the transfer from primary to secondary school." Millie, Cornwall
"Some of the stuff that goes on online can be really hard to deal with. Advice on how to handle and avoid these kind of situations would really help me, and a lot of other young people I know." Young person, Cumbria
"I hope HeadStart Kent will provide amazing opportunities to develop emotional resilience for young people – by helping with copying strategies for life." Shannon, 17, Kent
"It's through the Head Start programme, having someone out there believing in young people... they’ll feel like they’ve become of worth again. That they're of value." Carla, parent, Knowsley
"The journey from teenager to adult is one some find easier than others. So it's important where we can to build mental and emotional resilience." Paul Maslin, Lewisham Council
"There isn't a quick fix for young people with complex issues. We need to change services so support is always there and provide not only short term." Young person, Middlesbrough
"Young people's experiences in school, communities, family lives and social media can trigger problems we can avoid with earlier and more support. I'm proud of the young people who helped us develop our ideas." Councillor Dan Jeffery
"I was really unpopular when I first came to this school. I wish there had been peer mentors to help. As a sixth form peer mentor I can now help younger kids not to feel how I did." Wolverhampton Sixth Form peer supporter
"Before I joined the group I didn't know what resilient meant, but now I'm starting to build resilience which enables me to do the things I do now." Young person, Hull
"Newham HeadStart's dream is that all 10-14 year olds are surrounded by people, support and activities which strengthen them and empower them to deal with whatever life throws at them.." Marcia Samuels, Chair of the HeadStart Partnership Board


HeadStart Birmingham

The Children's Society

Award: £871,434
Area: Across Birmingham 

Contact: Rob Willoughby rob.willoughby@childrenssociety.org.uk





HeadStart Blackpool

Blackpool Council

Blackpool councilAward: £895,510
Area: Blackpool

Contact: Pauline Wigglesworth Pauline.wigglesworth@blackpool.gov.uk





HeadStart Kernow

Cornwall Council

Award: £849,026
Area: Cornwall

ContactRichard Head rhead1@cornwall.gov.uk





HeadStart Cumbria

Cumbria County Council

Award: £909,693
Area: Cumbria

Contact: Anne Sheppard anne.sheppard@cumbria.gov.uk





HeadStart Kent

Kent County Council

Award: £884,511
Area: Kent: Thanet, Dartford, Sevenoaks, Canterbury, Ashford

ContactAngela Ford angela.ford@kent.gov.uk





HeadStart Knowsley

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Award: £684,360
Area: Knowsley

Contact: Ken Harrison ken.harrison@knowsley.gov.uk





HeadStart Lewisham

London Borough of Lewisham

Award: £783,958
Area: Lewisham

Contact: Caroline Hirst caroline.hirst@lewisham.gov.uk





Beating the Odds

Middlesbrough Council

Award: £868,796
Area: Middlesbrough

Contact: Wendy Kelly Wendy_Kelly@middlesbrough.gov.uk





HeadStart Southampton

Southampton City Council

Award: £788,712
Area: Across Southampton

Contact: Linda Haitana Linda.haitana@southampton.gov.uk





HeadStart Wolverhampton

Wolverhampton City Council

Award: £905,977
Area: Across Wolverhampton

Contact: Vivienne Griffin Vivienne.Griffin@wolverhampton.gov.uk





HeadStart Hull

Hull City Council

Hull City Council logoAward: £498,902
Area: Across Hull

Contact: Rachel Roberts rachel.roberts2@hullcc.gov.uk





HeadStart Newham

London Borough of Newham

Award: £840,000
Area: London Borough of Newham

Contact: Simon Munk simon.munk@newham.gov.uk