What We're Up To
“I’m currently training to be a Childline counsellor, and your method of training was so engaging. It’s made the utmost difference to my understanding of children, and the way in which their brains and bodies differ.
I feel ready to continue positively and so much more knowledgeable with this role.”
Childline Course Trainee
We work in partnership with all kinds of organisations; schools, development agencies, support services, local authorities, and charities; to support the development of children from infancy through to vulnerable adulthood.
These projects and programmes are tailor-made for the needs of each organisation, from inception to ending, and involve CPD, consultancy, resource development, product creation and evaluation, and often a combination.
Below are a few examples of our partnership work.
Current and Recent Partnership Projects
NSPCC's Childline Service
In 2021, Well Within Reach was commissioned by the NCPCC to create a mandatory training course for Childline’s e-learning platform, to be accessed by their staff and its bank of thousands of volunteers.
Childline service-users reach counsellors operating from any of its ten national offices via phone or internet only, meaning there is no face-to-face contact, and young people will most likely talk to a different counsellor each time they access help.
Our course; which comprises 15 lessons over three modules, and explains the impact of stress, neglect, ACE’s and trauma on young, adolescent and vulnerable brain development; is designed around this very specific type of support, enabling counsellors to most effectively – and virtually – help vulnerable; and often very distressed; children reach a healthier and more empowered emotional state.
Since 2020, we’ve been delivering an ongoing programme of CPD for ‘Creative Mentors’; practitioners who offer 1:1 support for care-experienced children and children in need, with partner agency TMC.
Many of these young people have experienced trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s), leaving an imprint on their brain development and nervous systems, and thus their overall development, meaning that, although building a relationship with them is a necessity, and an opportunity for growth; it is also very fragile.
Our CPD enables mentors to more deeply understand these impacts, and how to cultivate ‘developmental relationships’; potentially these children’s first experience of a secure 1:1 adult-child relationship.
We also support mentors to assure their own emotional safety and wellbeing in this fragile space, as well as that of their mentees.
In addition to live training, we have created two courses for TMC’s Creative Mentoring e-learning platform.
Read more about the programme here.
Mighty Employers Network
We’re delivering a CPD programme for a network of East Midlands employers who are on a mission to become more aware and better equipped to employ young people who are care-experienced and/or have trauma and distress in their stories.
Although many of these young people are adversely affected, by being trauma-informed, there is much employers can do to help their employees overcome these challenges.
These young people may also have acquired a great deal of unrecognised attributes through their experiences, and we are helping the Mighty Employers Network to identify and ‘strengthen those strengths’, leading to better outcomes for both employer and employee!
Read more here.
Separation, Grief & Loss
Since 2017 we’ve been working with partners such as Children’s Bereavement Centre, St Giles Hospice and Cherished to support the workforce, volunteers and parents to understand how significant change such as separation, grief and loss affect children’s brain development and all round emotional wellbeing.
In November 22 Jo delivered a keynote speech and workshops at Children’s Bereavement Centre’s annual conference, aimed at services wishing to better understand the experience of the bereaved child, and respond to that sensitively and in ways which promote acceptance and emotional recovery at such a fragile time.
Attachment Aware Schools
We’re working with Derbyshire County Council Virtual School, which supports children who struggle to attend and stay in mainstream education.
We’ve worked with Senior Leadership Teams in a number of schools involved in the Attachment and Relationship Aware Schools programme, through consultancy, training, and the creation of resources designed to help school staff support their more vulnerable learners.
Ultimately, this is all about expanding knowledge, helping teaching and pastoral staff more deeply understand the root of challenges which present as poor engagement, problem behaviour and issues with learning, but which are typically underpinned by insecure attachment, ‘learned helplessness’, an emotionally hijacked brain or a nervous system in a state of dysregulation.
Leadership & Peer Mentoring
Lincolnshire is a disparate county, and many of its young people face even more mental health challenges than most due to isolation; i.e. young farmers; and to lack of belonging, such as children in traveller communities and military families.
Recognising that peers tend to be more influential in later childhood, we have created a ‘Young Wellbeing Leadership’ course, and associated resources, for Lincolnshire Council for Voluntary Youth Services (LCVYS).
Young Leaders and Peer Mentors who are already training in Youth Work will access the online course, which is based on our creative learning resource pack, “I Can Change My Mind”, and also covers the prevalence, causes and symptoms of poor young mental wellbeing, Safeguarding and Child Protection, and Reflective Practice.
See our resources page for more info on “I Can Change My Mind”.
"Young Mums Play & Learn"
‘Play & Learn’ is a programme designed for young care system-experienced mums and their children.
Through multi-sensory and creative play activities, they learned how to strengthen their children’s developing brains.
They explored how to recognise and meet their own emotional needs; as well as their children’s; and the role of their own mental health in nurturing healthy parent-child relationships.
“The immediate response regarding your address was extremely positive.
You made something that’s incredibly complex accessible and understandable.
People engaged really well; not only with your material and the liveliness of your speech (learning better through doing rather than listening); but also with you.”
Children’s Bereavement Centre
Jo Stockdale with Katie Koehler from Child Bereavement UK and Margot Sunderland from the Centre for Child Mental Health, speaking at Children’s Bereavement Centre’s annual conference ‘Children’s Grief Matters’.