UP to 12 more schools and hundreds of children will be given the tools to develop mental and emotional wellbeing as part of a continued partnership between two foundations.

The Edenstone Foundation has extended its links with the Proton Foundation to support the delivery of its Flourish Project in schools in a funding package worth £29,000 this year, with further funding allocated for next year.

Sponsorship from the Edenstone Foundation is covering teacher training for the project, plus a toolkit and resources to help equip young people with the tools to develop healthy self-esteem, mental and emotional well-being.

Archbishop Rowan Williams Church in Wales VA Primary School in Caldicot and Nant-y-Parc Primary School in Caerphilly are among those who took part in the latest training sessions.

Kirsty Nelson, year six teacher at Nant y Parc Primary, said: “Health, wellbeing and equity are a priority in our school development plan and we’re constantly looking for initiatives to develop pupils’ wellbeing, especially following the challenges of Covid. We’ve achieved the National Nurturing Schools Programme and felt the Flourish programme was the perfect next step.

“Having completed the training, we’re really excited about the project and are looking forward to delivering whole class sessions for children in years five and six later in the summer term as a trial run. It’s amazing that the Edenstone Foundation has provided grant funding for the scheme – it’s hugely appreciated.”

Melissa Jordan, from Archbishop Rowan Williams Church in Wales VA Primary School, said: “The course was well organised and took us through each stage of the Flourish Project step by step. It was engaging and involved everyone. It has inspired me to try and reach as many young people as possible. The students will benefit from the Flourish Project by having staff members who will be able to help them value themselves and believe they are capable of achieving their goals.”

Her colleague Kellie Jerome added: “I loved the Flourish training and I’m glad it is being taught for delivery to people who will truly benefit. The Flourish approach will be very beneficial to the children and teachers in our setting, helping to identify and bring out the best in all our children, whether that be social, emotional or physical growth.”

The Flourish Programme is targeted at nine to 16-year-olds and usually runs over eight one-hour sessions covering how beliefs are formed, how they can affect and shape us; the effects of social media on mental health, and encouraging young people to develop healthy online habits; learning how to develop healthy self-talk and begin to put it into practice; understanding the importance of setting goals and the positive effect it has on our mindsets.

Flourish project manager Phil Mann said: “We’re grateful to the Edenstone Foundation for their continued support, which will see hundreds of children and young people equipped with the tools to develop a healthy mindsight and truly flourish.”

The Edenstone Foundation funding for the project is fuelled by the success of the Magor-based Edenstone Group’s two housing brands – Edenstone Homes and Bluebell Homes. The Foundation receives a proportion of the proceeds from every home the Groups sells across South Wales and the South West of England to support good causes.

Chris Edge, from the Edenstone Foundation, added: “The importance of good mental health has perhaps never been more important, particularly following the challenges of the pandemic. We previously supported five schools on the Flourish Project and on average they reported an 18% improvement in mental wellbeing, self-esteem had increased 16% and a 13% average increase in happiness. Based on those results we were keen to extend our support, providing funding for another 10 schools this year with additional funding next year so that even more children can benefit.”

For more information about the Flourish Project see https://protonfoundation.com/flourish-project.