Zippy’s Friends (for 5-7 year-olds) and Apple’s Friends (for 7-9 year-olds) are already running in schools across the UK, including some parts of Scotland. These evidence-based programmes are proven to improve children’s coping and social skills – both important predictors of good mental health – and have already reached over 1.8 million children across the world.
“We are delighted to be able to expand our work in Scotland and work with schools in Dumfries and Galloway for the first time”, said Wendy Tabuteau, Chief Executive at Partnership for Children.
Dumfries and Galloway primary schools will be among the first in the world to run the new programmes for children aged 9-12. Passport, for 9-10 year-olds, will be launched in September 2019, and SPARK Resilience, for 10-12 year-olds, will be available from September 2020.
Zippy’s Friends to special schools
Partnership for Children will also be working with schools to develop and test additional resources for the years when children are not involved directly in a programme. In addition, they will be offering their adaptation of Zippy’s Friends to special schools and schools with specialist resource provision, ensuring that children with autism, and other additional needs, do not miss out on good mental health.
Extra support to the most vulnerable
“We want to offer extra support to some of the most vulnerable children. That’s why we will collaborate with local organisations to adapt our programmes for looked-after children, young carers and refugee groups,” said Lizzie Poulton, Programme Manager at Partnership for Children.
“This is a unique opportunity to offer joined-up mental health support to children across the primary age range and to learn more about the combined impact the Skills for Life programmes can have.”
Partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council
“What we learn and develop in Scotland, thanks to funding from the Kavli Trust, will not only impact the programmes across the UK but will also be shared with our partner organisations in over 30 countries around the world”, said Lizzie Poulton, Programme Manager at Partnership for Children.
“We are pleased to be working in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway Council to reach the schools. Council staff will work alongside us to recruit and support schools, and plan and deliver training. We will benefit from their local expertise while our programmes will enhance the work they are already doing with schools to promote children’s mental health.”
Read more: Partnership for Children’s website.