Life skills project extended to more schools

Jill Cox, project lead on Living Mindfully in Schools, hands out teaching materials.
Jill Cox, project lead on Living Mindfully in Schools, hands out teaching materials.
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A pioneering project to help young people and children develop coping strategies and life skills is being extended to more schools throughout County Durham.

Now in its second year, the Living Mindfully in Schools initiative, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, is continuing to help children develop essential life skills and coping strategies.

It has proved so successful it has been extended to a second year of working in schools.

County Durham-based social enterprise, Living Mindfully, was commissioned by Public Heath, Durham County Council to deliver The Living Mindfully in Schools Programme in secondary schools throughout the county.

And, the scheme has proved so beneficial it is not only set to continue, but Living Mindfully hopes other local authorities in the North East will follow Durham’s lead and incorporate it into their school curriculums.

Among the schools taking part in the project is Easington’s Glendene Academy and Chester-le-Street’s Park View Secondary School, as well as Durham City schools, Durham Johnston Comprehensive, Framwellgate School and Durham Sixth Form.

Mindfulness, which is recommended by NICE, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, for treating depression, has also been shown to have a positive impact upon stress, anxiety, and chronic pain and can improve self-esteem.

Last year, Living Mindfully worked with teachers and pupils at 11 schools across County Durham and will work with a further nine in the coming year.

It will also hold five, specialist courses for young carers and children aged between 11 and 18-years-old who may be vulnerable or at risk.

Jill Cox, Living Mindfully’s Mindfulness in School project leader, said: “Bringing mindfulness to the classroom allows the pupils to develop an awareness of their actions and reactions and the impact of these.

“Learning mindfulness at such an important developmental stage can benefit these children for the rest of their lives.”

For more information about Living Mindfully, its courses and referral requirements, call 01207 693909 or visit its website at www.livingmindfully.co.uk.

Anyone interested in training to teach mindfulness in schools, or who would like further information, can email enquiries@livingmindfullyinschools.com.