Cornwall’s HeadStart Kernow programme is set to receive £8.9 million to help with mental health and wellbeing for 10-16 year olds

Following on from the huge success of a Good Ofsted judgement, today, I can officially announce further fantastic news for Cornwall’s young people. This news is Cornwall has been awarded nearly £9 million (£8.9m) to continue its work in supporting the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people over the next five years.thROYPQJ23

Cornwall is one of just six areas across the country to receive a Big Lottery Fund grant this year which will be used to support the delivery of the HeadStart Kernow Strategy from 2016 to 2021.

The aim of the national HeadStart programme is to equip young people to be able to cope better with difficult circumstances in their lives so as to prevent them experiencing common mental health problems before they become serious issues. Previous to today’s announcement, Cornwall Council was awarded £500k which was used to set-up the programme which importantly, have been developed in partnership with young people.

HeadStart Kernow is not just the Council, as this is a partnership which includes Devon and Cornwall Police, NHS Kernow, Cornwall Foundation Trust, Cornwall Association of Secondary Head Teachers CASH), Cornwall Association of Primary Head Teachers (CAPH) and the voluntary and community sector.

HeadStart Kernow focuses on four key areas:

  • A child’s time and experiences at school
  • Their ability to access the services they need
  • Their home life and relationships with family members
  • their interaction with family members

Over the past two years the programme has worked with 61 primary schools, 10 secondary schools and one special school across Cornwall, helping to support around 10,00 young people aged between 10 and 16 years.

20 July 2016, roll out beginning in September 2016. Activity will be phased, based upon need, assets and capacity and will be iterative in its nature – we will learn and adapt.

HeadStart Kernow young people's board and those involved with the programme

HeadStart Kernow young people’s board and those involved with the programme

With the £8.9m pot of funding, HeadStart will engage All Primary (235) and Secondary Schools (32), seven Alternative Provision Academies in Cornwall, and all of the five Special Schools by working in partnership to maximise the impact of the HeadStart funding along with voluntary sector providers and the wider community.

This is a fantastic achievement which will help us to continue to deliver pro-active and preventive emotional health support for young people across Cornwall.

This funding will be used to support a range of activities in schools and in local communities, help develop the workforce and improve support systems to ensure that all children and young people in Cornwall can access the right support when they need it.

I would like to thank the HeadStart team, let by Richard Head, and all those involved for their hard-work over the last two years and for convincing The Big Lottery HeadStart programme our project here in Cornwall will help young people deal with emotional and mental health issues. As the portfolio holder, I am very proud of all their work. This money will make a difference.