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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 .

All Aboard for SELFA’s trip to York!

During February half term our year 6 Inspire group had an aspirational day trip to York on behalf of Northen Trains and York St John University. The trip allowed the 10/11 year olds to think ahead to their future, get a glimpse of city life and travel via train.

SELFA’s young people meet Whistle the Dog, Northern Trains mascot

Our day began at Skipton station where the youngsters were able to figure out the timetable to ensure we got on the right train to Leeds for a quick changeover to head to York. In Leeds station the group were delighted to be greeted by Whistle The Dog, Northerns Mascot and each get a high 5!! We are very grateful to Northern for their continued support, providing us with complimentary train tickets on many, many occasions since 2020. By doing so, Northern has allowed us to give our children and young people the opportunity to experience new places without the need to worry that the cost the travel is going go over our budget. Taking our groups on Northern routes has also promoted train travel, showing them what’s accessible within our area and given them awareness of railway safety. 

Once in York we had a 15 minute walk to navigate to meet Rachel & Ben (Education Outreach Co-ordinator’s). The young people received a full campus tour which they found pretty impressive, especially the gigantic library, lecture theatres, stationary vending machines and the hospital simulation suites. Our young people showed curiosity and had lots of questions to ask – ‘Do you study and live here?’, ‘Do you have the same lecturer for every lesson’, ‘How many different courses are there?’ . Luckily we had some very helpful Student Ambassadors on hand to provide the answers. After a delicious pizza lunch courtesy of YSJ, the group participated in tasks around budgeting, hopes and dreams which were all relevant and engaging and got them thinking about their future pathways. James shared, ‘I didn’t think university would be something I wanted to do but being here has made me think I could do it. I like the idea of studying engineering by myself and meeting others who want to do the same job as me’.

Samantha Pickard Watkinson, Senior Children & Young People’s Worker at SELFA, said ‘I feel the day was a huge success and allowed space for the group to have beneficial conversations about their ambitions. Even though university may be a while away for these youngsters it was great for them to see what’s on offer and spark their thoughts about what they may want to do, as it always good to have an idea. York St John were so accommodating for our groups needs and we are hugely thankful to them for hosting us’.

SELFA “bounces back” thanks to support from the Kentown Wizard Foundation

The Kentown Wizard Foundation have supported SELFA for a second year, this time with a grant of £26,000 to help deliver five weekend groups for children with multiple complex needs where they have the opportunity to access rebound therapy close to home.

The money has already made a massive difference to children and young people living in the Craven district who need a high level of support. As well as rebound therapy, children can take part in a wide range of activities such as baking, sensory play, crafts and music. Each session is staffed by specialist workers and volunteers which ensures that the children can attend independently, providing much needed respite for parents and carers. 

Emma Pears SELFA’s Chief Officer said “We are absolutely delighted to receive a grant from The Kentown Wizard Foundation. Last year they supported SELFA families on a wonderful residential break to The Bendrigg Trust in the Lake District and this grant has enabled us to offer a wide range of new opportunities, with over 32 children and young people accessing weekend and holiday sessions in the first three months of the project!”

Debbie Bamber, Operations Manager at The Kentown Wizard Foundation said:

“These additional rebound sessions will give children with severe and complex needs the opportunity to try new activities, improve their physical function and develop friendships in a safe and supportive environment. Having witnessed first hand the many benefits of Rebound Therapy, we are thrilled to be supporting such a positive project.”

SELFA has already made a huge difference to not only the children attending their sessions, but their families as well. Each session is staffed by specialist workers and volunteers which ensures that the children can attend independently, providing much-needed respite for their parents and carers.

The Kentown Wizard Foundation exists solely to have a positive and enduring impact on the lives of children and young adults with life-threatening conditions and serious disabilities, they do this through offering grants to charities across the UK who improve the lives of children living with life threatening conditions and serious disabilities. To find out more, visit

The project is open to children and young people aged 4-25 with profound and multiple disabilities who have been referred to SELFA.  For more information email or call 01535 533110.

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