Work done by the TCF pre Covid, on mental health and resilience in schools, used the experiences of the players to engage with young people on these challenging issues. This was initially targeted at older students.

Post Covid, primary schools asked the TCF to develop the original programme, for children approaching transfer from primary to secondary, to help with anxiety over this move. The TCF worked in partnership with Phoenix School, attached to the Cygnet Hospital in Sheffield, a specialist service provider for young people struggling with their mental health, to develop 3 separate sessions. It has been trialled in 2 primary schools, with excellent feedback from staff and students. It
will be rolled out to all schools from September, if funding can be found to support the programme. (Funding bids submitted)

The sessions focus on using physical activity to support mental health, explaining the science behind regular sessions and the benefits to the whole body, including the mind. The players also explore their resilience in the face of injury, career vulnerability and how the change to new clubs and environments is supported by friends, routines and supporting each other. Their personal experiences are incredibly powerful and the children find them inspirational as role models. The TCF also has a bid in progress with the Youth Investment Fund, to refurbish a derelict building at Clifton Lane.

This will provide a base for the TCF, a Community Hub, and a dedicated Youth Centre for the town. The outcome of the bid should be known in the next month. Bid now funded for £664,647 for the build and 2 years staffing costs!

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