Empower is a 48-week project that aims to improve young people’s mental health using physical activity. Each session is 90 minutes in length and consists of 60 minutes of physical activity, typically in the form of a sport session such as dodgeball, football, basketball, badminton, or dance. Following the physical activity, we complete a 30-minute wellbeing workshop, which is a facilitated conversation between participants, Watford FC Community Sports and Education Trust Coaches and a NESSie psychotherapist.
The aim of Empower is to improve young people’s wellbeing by helping our participants to manage their emotions and understanding their triggers, increasing participant’s resilience and protective factors, and offering a further support network for these young people. Each session is mixed gender and will have 16 young people aged between 9 and 12.
The project is split into three phases. Each phase scales down in contact time with participants, coinciding with psychotherapeutic approaches and NICE guidelines.
The first 12 weeks is The Development Phase, which is the process of participants understanding and exploring their feelings, triggers, and ways that they can utilise coping strategies within their daily life. The development phase consists of 12 weeks of weekly sessions that are all 90 minutes in length.
The second 12 weeks is The Maintenance Phase, which consists of how the individuals put these learning’s into their everyday practices. The maintenance phase consists of 12 weeks of fortnightly sessions, so in essence there will be 6 sessions over these 12 weeks, all consisting of 90 minutes in length and a weekly touch point with the project lead.
The final phase is The Reflection Phase, the reflection phase consists of 6 sessions that are spaced out monthly. The sessions are focussed on the participants reflecting on their moods, emotions and how they have been coping since the last session. Once again, all sessions consist of 90 minutes in length and there will be opportunities for contact points via technology and work to be completed at home. The step-down approach is to ensure that we are equipping our participants with healthy coping strategies to manage their emotions and minimise the effect of stressful situations on their mental health and wellbeing.
You can refer a child onto the project by emailing Jodine Williams directly or Filling in the downloadable referral form and send this via email.