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A project with schools: we’ve got good news and bad news

The good news is that two schools in Norfolk have confirmed they are on board for the project. The bad news is we have been unsuccessful with our first funding bid. We now begin the hunt for funding sources more appropriate to what we want to do.

9 Feb 2016. A short update on developments for the second project with NSFT.

Materials and tools lined up in preparation for Workshop 1 with NSFT youth mental health service users, Norfolk Field Trip, March 2015.
Good news: two schools confirm they are on board

NSFT has just informed us that two Norfolk schools, a state primary and a state secondary, have confirmed that they are happy to be involved in our second Early Lab project that is with schools. The schools have confirmed to NSFT they are happy with the project plan in principle and committing staff and pupils’ time to it.

One year six class at the primary school and one year seven class at the secondary school will participate in six double-lesson long weekly workshops. All children in each class will participate – we are not targeting children who have special educational needs or those who have a mental health condition – our workshops are aimed to serve all pupils. We will conduct a workshop for the year six class and another workshop each week for the year seven class. There are thirty children in each class.

One of the schools has cited the SATs week as an issue which means the project will not happen before Easter 2016. A mid April start has been suggested by them.

The schools serve children living in rural and suburban coastal communities close to Great Yarmouth in East Norfolk. Both have an established relationship with NSFT’s Great Yarmouth and Waveney CFYPS (Children, Families & Young People Service).

Bad news: our first funding bid has not been successful

We have just heard that Early Lab, jointly with UAL, has been unsuccessful in our first funding bid. This was for money needed for the schools project with NSFT mentioned above that was scheduled for April/May 2016.

This disappointment has precipitated Early Lab founders Nick and Fabiane to rethink their current approach to securing funding. This means a major project with the schools will have to be postponed until the next academic year, 2016/17.

While they regret this delay, having given things more thought they are confident that devoting more time to craft a better funding submission through the right funding scheme will deliver a better project and be better for everyone in the long run.

Nick and Fabiane have been greatly encouraged by the enthusiasm shown for the project by NSFT and the schools. We are keen to meet this interest with some interim, pilot activities in Norfolk that can enable everyone involved to get further insight into what will work and contribute their ideas to making the next funding bid (and project) a really compelling one.

The following activities are being proposed:

  1. Early Lab day-trip to Norfolk in March for a meeting to workshop a schools activity approach with NSFT, school teachers, voluntary organisations, Norfolk County Council Children’s Services/youth justice etc. For example, scoping out what is available and what schools might want in terms of mental health and wellbeing within their schools.
  2. Early Lab day-trip to Norfolk in May to say hello and run a pilot workshop with one class of children and teachers at the primary school (year 6, am) and the secondary school (year 7, pm).

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