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SELFA celebrates after being awarded their biggest ever grant!

SELFA has secured £299,537 funding from The National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF) to launch it’s “SELFA Go Wild” project which will help to increase our focus on health and wellbeing for children and young people living in Craven.

SELFA Go Wild builds on the success of an existing project, SELFA Springboard. Over three years, SELFA will enhance social action opportunities for 300 children and young people aged 4-18 years. Through outdoor and environmental activities, peer support, youth voice and co-design we will help children to build their confidence to speak up and make a difference in their community. We will also provide opportunities for 25 young people aged 19-25 to volunteer and co-deliver SELFA groups.

SELFA Chief Officer, Emma Pears had this to say about the funding:

“We are absolutely thrilled that the National Lottery Community Fund has continued to recognise our work in this way. Now, thanks to National Lottery players, we will be able to enrich the support available to children and young people experiencing vulnerabilities in their own community. This is more important than ever as the cost of living crisis has amplified the issues that our families face and we want to ensure everyone has access to the support they need where they live.” 

North Craven in the Community

‘Being part of the community is important as you learn how others are feeling and it’s how people connect!’ (quote from young person in Bentham)

Children and young people having a sense of belonging is a huge part of SELFA as a charity and something we are constantly working towards. Working to help the community and create a larger support network can be very rewarding and gives children and young people a sense of achievement and ownership over their actions.

The Bentham primary group have spent time at the Community Allotment over the last two summers learning how to grow and harvest their own produce. The group chose to grow things like sweet peas, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, herbs and strawberries and were amazed by the things they were able to dig up last year.

The children said

‘It’s fun to be with friends in nature’ (Child aged 8)

‘We grew lots of different vegetables, some I hadn’t heard of before’ (Child aged 7)

‘We got to dig them up at the end’ (Child aged 9)

Learning through Field to Fork has been a great experience for the group and we can’t thank the Bentham Community Allotment team enough for allowing us to use the space. This year, although we haven’t been down as much as we would have liked, we have had the opportunity to plant and enjoy the benefits of being outside.  We have looked at the impact fresh air and gardening has on mental well-being and applied this to our own lives. This summer we hope to create a bug hotel. Watch This Space!

This year the Settle Primary group have been lucky enough to get involved with the Settle Flower Pot display. For those that don’t know, this is the largest display of flower pots in the UK and it takes place in Settle every summer. There are over 300 different designs that are displayed all over the town.  The group got their craft on and created the most amazing bugs ready to be hung in one of Settle’s shop windows. See if you can spot them – and tag us on our social media if you do!

Thank you to the Settle Flower Pot committee for giving up their time to run a workshop to help us put them together. The children really enjoyed learning new skills and working together to make the buggiest of bugs! They were very proud of themselves and can’t wait to show their families.

‘I enjoyed using the ties to clip them together, mine was really bright’ (Child aged 5)

‘I wanted a butterfly because you can make their wings pretty’ (Child aged 7)

‘My spider matches my friends’ (Child aged 6)

Here’s a sneak peak of our creation!!

From planting to painting both North craven primary groups have thrived through the chance to get involved in their own communities!

Mighty Minds is mightier than ever!

SELFA are very pleased to say that Mighty Minds is continuing in 2024-2025 which will allow us to support more young people in Craven experiencing mild-moderate mental health needs. We’re looking forward to meeting new young people and visiting more schools across our wonderfully rural district.

April 2023 marked the beginning of our Mighty Minds programme, a new strand to SELFA’s mental health provision. Mighty Minds is a part of the Youth In Mind service coordinated by Mind In Bradford. SELFA are one of eight providers delivering mental health and wellbeing support across the Bradford district and Craven.

SELFA’s Mighty Minds programme offers both one-to-one mentoring support and a group wellbeing programme for children and young people aged 5-19 and up to 25 with additional needs. We travel across the Craven district delivering the programme in both primary and secondary schools. If a child accesses the one-to-one support, they will receive up to six mentoring sessions where they can explore their emotions and work with staff to set and plan the goals they would like to achieve. If a child accesses the group support, they will join their peers on a 10-week wellbeing programme that aims to develop emotional intelligence and devise positive coping strategies to help them manage their emotions.

From April 2023- March 2024, SELFA supported 107 young people via the Mighty Minds programme across 18 different schools. We’ve received some wonderful feedback from young people, parents and schools about the programme and the difference that it has made.

“It’s actually been refreshing to have someone come and see me that actually listens.” – Young person, aged 14.

“I know how to talk about my feelings now. I used to not like talking about them but I can do it now.” – Child, aged 8.

“My daughter has been attending the Mindful programme that Lucy from SELFA ran on Thursday afternoons. I just wanted to pass on my thanks as she has really enjoyed the sessions and I believe has benefitted significantly from attending. Is there any further support from SELFA that she would be able to access?” – Parent

“A has found it very beneficial to have this time out of class with yourself. Not only has it presented him time to talk about his feelings but it has given him some quiet time away from peers. A told me that he appreciated time away from his friends who are a distraction. It’s difficult for us to find time to do this at school within his timetable so we appreciate your ongoing support.” – Class Teacher

To find out more about Mighty Minds or other mental health support that SELFA can offer please do get in touch. You can also find out more about the Youth In Mind service here https://www.mindinbradford.org.uk/support-for-you/youth-in-mind/ .

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