Burnley Football Club in the Community – Schools Mental Wellbeing Project
Burnley FC in the Community uses the appeal of both the Premier League and Burnley Football Club to support mental wellbeing amongst young people and is currently working with Secondary Schools across Burnley and Pendle delivering its Schools Mental Wellbeing Project (SMWP). Burnley FC in the Community is supported by the Premier League, the Professional Footballers’ Association, Burnley Borough Council, Pendle Borough Council and NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group in its Schools’ Mental Wellbeing Project.
The charity employs its own team of 12 Mental Wellbeing Workers who are placed in schools and aim to provide early intervention to support students who are struggling with mental health issues.
The charity’s Schools’ Mental Wellbeing Project was created in 2018, providing schools with qualified mental wellbeing workers, and during that time it has delivered one-to-one sessions and group sessions for students struggling with their mental health between January 2019 and July 2022.
The project has received national recognition, being shortlisted in 2020 for the Northwest Football Awards and the Children and Young People Now National Mental Health and Wellbeing awards.
The Wellbeing Workers also help raise awareness of mental health within their respective schools, educating parents, students, and teachers alike to make the school ‘a mentally healthy school’. Specific aims are to reduce overall levels of mental distress in the schools whilst positively impacting attendance, academic performance, knowledge and understanding of mental health, and other indicators.
Mental wellbeing is of particular importance to children and young people as it is thought to influence the way in which an individual copes with key life events. Research shows that this is particularly important in schools as when students are feeling good they are more likely to flourish and thrive.