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Partners in Furness launch book to support mental health and resilience for children

Written by on 09/02/2021

A mental health resource book has been launched to help children, parents, carers and professionals to cope with the changes and emotions children may be feeling during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.
Living in Lockdown – Our Children Remember is a project by Furness Education and Skills Partnership (FESP), supported by local schools, Barrow Integrated Care Community and local third sector organisations and funded by Barrow and Millom Primary Care Network.

As part of the project, 10 local schools across Barrow-in-Furness were partnered with mental health practitioners to capture their children’s experiences through the pandemic, along with their feelings, their strategies for resilience and their hopes for the future.

The schools that participated in the project and the children’s work was collated in emerging themes focusing on their understanding of what was happening, how they were affected and their hopes and wishes in adjusting to a ‘new normal’.

Feedback from the schools included:

  • “I hope the lockdown and the virus make people want to be healthier.”
  • “I hope that in the future everyone starts to take care of each other more.”
  • “The world will ride the boat of hope to a better future for everyone on this planet.”

Dr Sarah Arun of the Barrow and Millom Primary Care Network, said: “It became apparent during the first national lockdown that many children were finding the situation difficult and emotional wellbeing was a growing concern. This book will be used to help parents, carers and professionals identify how the children they read it with are feeling and offers ideas and suggestions for improving physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.”

Caroline Vernon, Chair of FESP, said: “The project has given voice to the children in our locality and it is hoped that it will help other children at times of challenge. It is a book for children, by children and gives an insight into the impact that COVID-19 had on them. It is a very positive legacy, created during a very challenging time, it demonstrates that children everywhere have worthwhile experiences to share and that if we really listen to them we can help them to help others.

“Many thanks to our partners Barrow and Millom Primary Care Network, CancerCare, Barnardo’s, CGP and Oxley Group who collaborated with us and gave their support generously to make this project happen.”

The front cover of the book was designed by a school pupil and resembles two different worlds: before and during the pandemic.

The pupil said: “The sky shows the brightness and happiness when everyone could see their families and friends, the sea, showing the darkness, the deeper you dive, the darker it gets until you are rescued and can again see the sun shining bright.”

Copies of the book will be made available to all local schools, through the NHS and to organisations working with children.  For further information on the project or to obtain copies of the book please contact Neil@fesp.co.uk