To mark one year of Burnley FC in the Community’s Schools’ Mental Wellbeing Project, Burnley FC’s Charlie Taylor visited Burnley High School to meet with students who have been benefitting from the programme.
Delivered to help students identified as needing help with their mental wellbeing, BFCitC placed 7 full time Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner’s (PWP’s) in 7 local schools. So far, 542 students have received mental health support, with feedback positive as 86% of students have reported feeling less anxious.
To mark the anniversary, Charlie met with a group of students, who have historically struggled with anxiety and confidence issues which has affected their time at school. Members of the group have been working with BFCitC Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner Hayley, on topics including resilience.
Charlie joined the students to discuss times in his life that he has had to show resilience, touching on times he has been injured and the affect this had on him both mentally and physically. He talked of his experience as a player, showing resilience when there’s competition for places within the squad and times where he has had to be resilient and methods, he uses to cope with this.
He also chatted about the importance of looking after your mental wellbeing, for example the low feeling when you lose a game in comparison to the highs that come with winning. The discussion also offered an opportunity for students to ask questions about Charlie’s goals and aims for the future.
Following the discussion, Charlie joined students in the sports hall for some football, before posing for photographs.
David Jeal, Head of Alternative Curriculum/Art Teacher at Burnley High School said: “Our students really enjoyed spending time with Charlie. Most of the students are massive Burnley FC fans so it was a brilliant experience, some of the louder, more confident students were visibly starstruck which was bizarre to see.
“I thought Charlie’s relaxed manner and how open he was with our students was a credit to himself and Burnley FC. His willingness and ability to respond to an unstructured situation with many challenging learners really made the session worthwhile.
“For me the best aspect was to give learners who are currently disengaged at school the opportunity to meet a genuinely successful person who may also have found school difficult or irrelevant. These young people are often labelled ‘failures’ throughout their 11-year educational journey and to contextualise non-academic success was really valuable.”
Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, Hayley Lawson said: “Feedback from the students has been great. Many of them came to see me on Monday morning and were so thankful to Charlie for giving his time.
“Some of them were nervous and shy initially but displayed just how resilient they had become by stepping out of their comfort zone and becoming actively involved in both the discussion and the game of football. It was great for the students to hear how those that they looked up to can also at times have to push themselves and be resilient.
“The students will be able to refer back to the Q&A throughout their academic career to help them continue to develop their resilience, motivation and overall progression during their time at Burnley High School.
“I truly believe the students have learnt some valuable life skills from the time that Charlie kindly provided to the school and they are very grateful for their experience.”
To find out more information about BFCitC’s Schools’ Mental Wellbeing Project click here or contact Head of Health and Wellbeing, Abby Turner on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01282 704 716.