“The immediate response concerning your address was extremely positive.
People engaged really well; not only with your material and the liveliness of
your speech (learning better through doing rather than listening);

but also with you.
You made something that’s incredibly complex accessible and understandable”

Jo Stockdale with Katie Koehler from Child Bereavement UK and Margot Sunderland from the Centre for Child Mental Health,
speaking at Children’s Bereavement Centre’s annual conference ‘Children’s Grief Matters’, Nov 2018.

Current Projects

We've got a lot going on!
We work with a wide range of partner agencies & organisations, and below are just a few examples of the kind of work we get involved with.
If you want to know more about any of these, just
contact us, or sign up for updates about what we're up to, and what's coming up.


The PLACE Young People’s Company

Underpinned by the PLACE model (Play, Love, Acceptance, Curiosity and Empathy), The PLACE Young People’s Company consists of four Nottinghamshire residential homes and two schools, which provide therapeutic care and education for young people who have
emotional, social, educational and behavioural difficulties as a result of past trauma, and attachment difficulties.

Between September 2019 and July 2020, we’re working with The PLACE’s care & education teams to deliver a programme of training & consultancy
to enable staff to learn about and implement their knowledge about brain development, the nervous system, self-esteem, resilience,
and the significance of relationship to most effectively support the very vulnerable children in their care.


‘Young Mums Hub’

As part of Derbyshire County Council’s ‘Creative Mentoring’ programme, we’re working with a small group of young women who have
experience of being in care, and are now young mums themselves. Through a range of practical activities and facilitated discussions,
we’re enabling these mums to creatively explore what it means for them to be parents in a safe space.
They’re learning about the role of their parenting on their kids’ brain development so they are equipped with knowledge, skills & confidence; to nurture their children’s cognitive, social & emotional growth; to strengthen their relationships with their kids; and to essentially take them on a different journey through childhood than that which they experienced themselves.

Between 2019 and mid-2020, we’ll be supporting these women to design their own creative activities and develop their leadership skills.
They’ll then run their own creative workshops to practically share their knowledge and skills with other young mums, thus helping other
young parents to strengthen their attachment with their children.

Children’s Bereavement Centre

In 2018 we presented at Children’s Bereavement Centre’s national conference 'Children's Grief Matters', alongside Dr Margot Sunderland from the
Centre for Children’s Mental Health, and Dr Katie Koehler from Child Bereavement UK.
We addressed how separation and loss can affect children’s brains, and how the adults around these children can use their relationships with them to support children’s grief most effectively during this fragile time.
We’re now developing a training directory in partnership with CBC, which will enable both educators & parents to better understand; and effectively respond to; the impacts that loss, separation, trauma, and other adverse experiences can have to both children’s brains, and long-term emotional health.


‘Empowered Parenting’

We’ve developed this programme in response to the huge number of parents who have spoken to us in recent years about how, as parents,
they can use the information and knowledge that we share; from before baby is born to the turbulent adolescent years.
In particular, many parents express how powerless they feel in supporting their child at key points in the journey of childhood,
and the struggles they experience with issues such as school expectations, behaviour, mental health etc.
We launched ‘Empowered Parenting’ in Nov 2018; introducing easy-to-understand info & essential knowledge to support parents with some of their greatest concerns and worries. Click here for info on our forthcoming sessions.
Don’t forget to join our Empowered Parenting Facebook group and sign up to our mailing list to ensure you’re the first to know what’s coming up!

Recent Projects

Arts & Health

We work with a range of creative organisations, primarily to help the value of their Arts & Health programmes; enabling them to translate the deeper meaning behind the ‘soft’ outcomes which they deliver.
We recently completed a 2 year evaluation with ‘Wishing Well’, a programme which brings musical interactions to bedsides at the Alexandra Children’s Hospital’s Critical Care unit in Brighton. Our primary aim was to deepen the understanding of how the practice impacts children who cannot reliably communicate. Read more about this here, and download the public version of our evaluation report here.

Through a partnership with Community Music in London, we’ve just created an evaluation framework to enable them to evaluate the long-term
impacts of their 3 year programme 'Mind the Music’ independently. Mind the Music uses music-making activities to engage young people with a
range of mental health issues; from low-level anxiety to those accessing acute Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) residential care.
Read about our involvement in 'Mind the Music' here.

We’ve also evaluated ‘BEATS’; a pilot project exploring the relationship between knife-crime and the ‘adolescent brain’; which was co-delivered by Pedestrian; an Leicester-based education charity which uses the arts to support vulnerable young people; and the University of Northampton.

Work With Special Schools

We get involved with a range of schools, in particular those who support children with some kind of additional need or challenge;
delivering INSET, CPD, and other sessions created for these school’s wider communities.

This year, we’ve trained the Heads of Department and presented to almost 200 teachers at the annual ‘Behaviour Teach Meet’ event at
Keyham Lodge & Millgate, two specialist SEMH (Social, Emotional & Mental Health) schools in Leicester.
Since 2018 we’ve worked with Alderwasley Hall in Derbyshire, a school supporting learners with ASD and Asperger’s;
delivering training to their teaching, residential & therapeutic teams, and their wider network of professionals and parents.

We’ve been working with Dawn House; one of only two UK schools led the charity I CAN which specialises in young people’s language & communication difficulties; for three years. We deliver sessions for staff and for their community of specialist professionals and parents, and have also presented annually at their Parent Conference; Read more here.

Courage 1.jpg

'Fire & Wire'

In 2017, we began working as part of consortium partnership with the National Youth Agency, Platform Thirty1 and Applied Psychologies,
designing a programme called ‘Fire & Wire’ as part of an application for a £1.8 million grant released by Spirit of 2012 and #IWill,
in response to the growing concern around girl's mental health nationally, combined with the centenary of women’s suffrage.
From a total of 20 applications, Fire & Wire was one of only two finalists eventually shortlisted to receive a development grant, which we used
to help groups of girls in ex-coalfield areas to explore how their brains work through ‘Chimp Paradox’ theory, using activities such as Forum Theatre.
Although Fire & Wire sadly did not win the final award, the partnership is currently in discussions with various funders, working towards our ambition
to reach more young people directly and develop subsequent training resources, which we'll then use to train youth practitioners across the UK.