Mental Wellbeing Improves Among Young People in Wales

MORE than 800 young people across 29 schools in Wales have reported improved mental health after completing the Flourish Project, sponsored by the Edenstone Foundation.

Flourish is a Proton Foundation project designed to improve mental and emotional wellbeing, self-esteem and resilience amongst nine to 16-year-olds over the course of eight one-hour sessions.

A three-year partnership between the Proton Foundation and the Edenstone Foundation has seen 29 schools receive training and support through the Flourish programme.

Chris Edge, from the Edenstone Foundation, said: “We’re proud to have been able to partner with the Proton Foundation to enable the delivery of its Flourish programme in schools across Wales over the last three years. Together we’ve supported hundreds of young people develop crucial life skills that will help with their long-term self-esteem, mental health and happiness. The feedback has been fantastic with an average improvement of 14.86% in mental wellbeing, self-esteem and happiness across the schools and some heart-warming stories about the difference it’s made to young people’s lives.  Having already provided around £70,000 in funding, we’re exploring how we can continue to support the invaluable work of the Flourish programme.”

One teacher described the scheme as “worthwhile”, explaining how it had empowered a child to tell staff about their home situation and for a care plan to be put in place as their parents had separated, and their mum had been admitted to rehab for drug abuse.

Over the three years quantitative and qualitative data was collated. It showed an average improvement of 17.14% in mental wellbeing, a 14.04% increase in self-esteem and 13.42% increase in happiness.

Flourish Project manager Philip Mann said: “Schools play a crucial part in helping to promote positive mental health and self-esteem in their pupils for them to reach their full potential and succeed in the future. With the support of the Edenstone Foundation we have been able to be a part of the solution in helping schools support their pupils.”

Wales represents 64.41% of Flourish’s charitable activities, due to their key partnership with the Edenstone Foundation.

More than 800 young people have been through the programme with support from the Edenstone Foundation.

The 14 schools supported through the programme with Edenstone Foundation funding in 2023 were Oystermouth Primary School, Blaenavon Heritage VC School, Gorseinon Primary, St Gabriels Primary, Cyfarthfa High School, King Henry VIII School, Cwmbach CiW Primary School, Lansdowne Primary School, The Pear Tree Foundation, Alderman Davies CiW School, All Saints School, Willowtown Primary School, Our Lady of the Angels, Islwyn High School.

One teacher said: “They all really enjoyed the programme, especially when we exchanged the cards of awesomeness. One of the parents approached me recently to say how she had thought it was a fantastic idea and how much her daughter enjoyed reading all the positive comments that had been written for her and how much more confident she has become within herself. The feedback from the pupils themselves was also very positive.”

The programme was referenced in a recent Estyn Inspection report for Ystrad Mynach Primary School. It said: “The school’s Flourish programme encourages pupils to believe in themselves, and to promote positive thinking and self-esteem. Flourish enables pupils to realise their full potential. It gives the pupils tools and techniques to equip and empower themselves to believe that they can dream big dreams.”

One young person who took part in the programme said: “It’s helped me to develop more confidence and to understand my worth.”

The Edenstone Foundation funding for the project is fuelled by the sale of new homes by the Edenstone Group’s two housing brands – Edenstone Homes and Bluebell Homes. It receives a proportion of the proceeds from every home the Groups sells to support good causes.

To find about more the Flourish Project see https://protonfoundation.com/flourish-project.