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Supporting young people moving to new schools in Cornwall

New mental health support is being made available in Cornwall for young people ahead of the new school year in September.  The resources from Headstart Kernow, part of Together for Families at Cornwall Council, have been developed in conjunction young people themselves. 

Making the move from primary to secondary or to college, can be daunting at the best of times, let alone during a worldwide pandemic.  The Transition Mission pages of the Start Now website is packed with lots of useful information and there is a free guide for young people to download, to help them navigate the first weeks in their new school. 

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Portfolio Holder for Children, Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Sally Hawken, said: “There is no sugar coating it; school will look very different when the children go back in September. And yet, if there’s any reason to be hopeful, it’s that all throughout lockdown, our kids have shown us how remarkably resilient and adaptive they are.

“It’s because of our children that we want to do our very best to provide them with everything they need when school returns.  This is a big year for many young people, who may have missed out on the traditional leavers celebrations, or for those simply moving to a different class and the resources have been designed to support them in those changes.”

The Transition Mission booklet has been created thanks to working with young people.  One of those involved in the project was Maggie, she worked on a page called the ‘Worry Monster’: “It is a page in the book where you can put all your fears and worries; it makes you feel better because it’s then written down.

“Starting secondary to me was quite scary as most of my friends were going to another school, which meant I wouldn’t be able to see them, and I would be around lots of people I didn’t know and making new friends.”

This not just an anxious time for children; parents will also be feeling nervous about their little people returning to school. Help is available for them through a special parenting podcast, which has been recorded and is available now on all the major platforms.

Sally concluded: “We want to reassure young the young people across Cornwall and their families, who may be feeling anxious; they are not alone. Our teams have lots of resources, schools are prepared and also understand the anxieties, most importantly you won’t be the only person feeling like this and we would ask you to reach out for support.”

More information for children can be found at https://www.startnowcornwall.org.uk/coronavirus/back-to-school/ and for parents you can find more at www.cornwall.gov.uk/backtoschool