Doncaster pupils celebrate NHS service’s second birthday

A fledgling NHS children’s service celebrates its second birthday this week after successfully forging key close links with pupils across South Yorkshire.

By Barbara Craythorn
Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 3:20 pm
Kiah Thorpe – Age 7, from Mexborough Highwoods Academy
Kiah Thorpe – Age 7, from Mexborough Highwoods Academy

The innovative ‘With me in Mind’ project was launched and funded by the national NHS as a trailblazer scheme on February 4, 2020. Since then it has seen mental health support teams from Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) directly linking up with schools/colleges and home educated families in Rotherham and Doncaster. The aim is reduce waiting times and improve the emotional wellbeing of youngsters experiencing mild to moderate emotional/mental health issues.

To celebrate two years on, WMIM staff organised a birthday card design competition for pupils in both Rotherham and Doncaster.

The winners, were presented with goody bags that included an art set and vouchers.

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Kiah Thorpe – Age 7, from Mexborough Highwoods Academy, was Doncaster’s winner.

Coun Victoria Cusworth, Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services judged over 100 entries from across the borough, saying: “It was a difficult task as all the entries were great and a huge well done to everyone who submitted a design. I chose Lana’s entry as the winner because the design had everything – balloons, stars, cakes and rainbows.”

Katie Wood, from WMIM, was one of the Doncaster judges. She said: We had lots of fantastic entries and all of the children put lots of thought and effort into their designs. Kiah’s stood out as it was full of colour and included everything you would want at a birthday celebration.”

Currently, some 32,000 children and young people studying in around 50 schools in Rotherham and Doncaster can access With me in Mind.

The WMIM service has also released two new videos to coincide with their second anniversary. One features a grateful parent praising the help she has received for her daughter and can be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/h2voAoi810A

The second one contains interviews with pupils from Rotherham’s Aston Lodge Primary School talking about how WMIM staff have helped them to manage their feelings. This includes creating classroom ‘worry boxes’, with decorated mouths to gobble up any anxieties they have. The video can be seen at this link: https://youtu.be/cit8fEZDdZ8