Published: Wednesday, 13th March 2024

Despite unprecedented challenges to council finances, the Royal Borough of Greenwich is launching eight new pioneering Emotional Wellbeing Hubs in schools.

These hubs give young people of all backgrounds access to vital support for their wellbeing to help improve attendance, behaviour and reduce anxiety.

The hubs will support pupils and work with their families too.

Councillor Anthony Okereke, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said: “Our brand-new council scheme will benefit countless young people with a £1.3million investment. There are increasing numbers of children as young as 11 admitting they have mental health issues, but with Government cuts, it is increasingly difficult for families to access support – especially without paying for expensive private therapy and there are severe delays via the NHS. That's why it is vital that this new type of provision exists, to help make sure no young person feels alone.”

Councillor Matt Morrow, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “We want every child to reach their full potential and Be Great in Greenwich, but post-pandemic we are concerned about children’s mental health and wellbeing. A range of factors such as how parents are feeling, stress, and the cost of living crisis together with the risks of crime, exploitation or even social media can lead to absence, poor behaviour and even exclusion, so these hubs will be vital in helping our young people be the best versions of themselves.”

Douglas Greig, Head Teacher of Plumstead Manor, a participating secondary school that is currently running our first pilot, said: “Young people’s emotional and mental health is very important to us all – it is the foundation of their success at school and in later life. It is increasingly the case that poor mental health can impact negatively on school attendance, causing young people to miss vital learning. Without safe and happy young people overcoming the barriers to their learning, attendance can be difficult. That’s why I fully support the pilot of an Emotional Wellbeing Hub, offering our young people access to holistic provision at an early stage, so they can flourish and thrive at school.”

The Council will work with schools and embed specialist units of professionals who will have access to systemic family practitioners to provide holistic family support. The secondary schools will provide a 'hub and spoke' model to work with primary schools in clusters.

The participating schools will identify children they are concerned about and the specialist units will assess what help is needed before following this up with support in school and at home. Specialists will work closely with other local professionals across the borough to ensure a collective approach for excellence for every child.

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