There is no denying that the impact of COVID 19 remains and what we are seeing most is the impact that has been left on some of our children
For the best part of 2 years, children were away from school, away from friends, away from the competitive nature of sports and Exams. Children born in lockdown were unable to meet extended family and join baby groups and new Mum’s were left in isolation.
During COVID, referrals for Counselling increased, a lot of these were for children who were anxious, children who were stressed with online learning or who were getting more stressed about the return to school and what that might mean.
There has always been a massive need for children’s mental health services and CAMHS and other Children’s services are often running at a capacity with large waiting lists.
In the last two years at Aspiring Futures, we have noticed the increasing need to be working with Parents and Children and therefore have implemented several new groups such as Stay and Play, Minecraft Club and Girls Rocks.
Stay and Play
Stay and Play is led by a qualified counsellor who can pick up on post-natal issues and signpost or offer support if needed. Parents can meet other parents and in this relaxed environment offer support to each other and firm friendships are often made.
Minecraft Club is aimed at improving children’s confidence and is for ages 6 – 12. Children who attend Minecraft club get projects to complete on the game each week and learn what it is like to be part of a Team. Being around older children makes the transition to High School a lot easier for the younger ones, as they are used to being around older children.
Feedback from parents is that having this group has improved their child’s confidence, given them a new friendship group and given them space to be their authentic self as we don’t have the same rigid structure as school.
As a Women’s organisation we have seen for many years the impact that low self-esteem has on women, building on confidence and self-esteem from a young age is a must for any child but especially girls. Girls from a young age can access media images of unrealistic body image portrayed on most social media platforms, as well as many reality TV shows promoting promiscuous sex and overly sexualised behaviour. As well as running Empowering Women for adults we also run Girl’s Rock for ages 11-17.
Girl’s Rock focuses on building confidence, learning resilience, relaxation and mindful techniques , as well as giving the girls a safe space to make new friends and explore lots of topics with a leader who is a qualified counsellor and children’s worker.
Click here for more details about our support groups for children