Young people from Cornwall visit Westminster to talk about emotional resilience

The group from Headstart Kernow, a multi-agency partnership led by Cornwall Council, were invited by the former Health Minister Norman Lamb MP to Westminster where they shared their experiences in the service, which has been praised as an example of best practice.

The aim of the event was to highlight the excellent work that the partnerships are doing to MPs and invited guests. They also highlighted the need for more work and support for young people’s mental health.

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Sally Hawken, Portfolio Holder and Cabinet Member for Health and Well Being, said:  “One of our priorities at Cornwall Council is that our children are healthy, safe and protected from harm. 

“By sharing their experiences, these young people are helping us to understand a lot more about the challenges they face. This is helping us to better target resources were they are most needed.

“HeadStart is already having a real impact on the way we think about improving the resilience, emotional health and mental wellbeing of our young people and this is a great opportunity for MP’s from around the UK to learn about the work being done in Cornwall.”

Cornwall is receiving significant investment from the National Lottery Community Fund, until 2021, to deliver its HeadStart Kernow programme.  Taking place in six locations across England, the HeadStart programme aims to explore and test ways to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people aged 10 to 16 by supporting them to build their resilience.

It looks at how their mental wellbeing is affected by their experiences at school, their ability to access the community services they need, their home life and relationships with family members, and their interaction with digital technology.

A focus of our programme in Cornwall is to provide training to staff in primary and secondary schools to support emotional and mental wellbeing needs of children, and working with the voluntary sector and child and adolescent mental health services, including NHS Cornwall Foundation Trust, to provide access to support in the community and early help. 

This training, which is delivered by Trauma Informed Schools UK, is designed to help school staff identify the needs that might lie behind behaviours which interrupt a child’s learning and development and extend this knowledge to other organisations working with young people and families including sport and activity based clubs and other youth organisations.

HeadStart Workforce training is focused on the emotional development of children, neuroscience and the importance of the arts and crucially also includes training on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s.) 

Amy Pearton, Chair of the HeadStart Kernow Young People’s Board, said: “HeadStart is not just about tackling problems once they’ve happened, it’s about helping people to become more resilient, building their strengths, talents and interests.”

Young People are working with us on these important issues, together with Young People Cornwall and Pirate FM.

Further information and where to find support is available at


Story posted 06 February 2019