Lord John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, will be the keynote speaker at a conference in Lincoln next month which will help school leaders to improve the emotional wellbeing of young people.
Think2Speak LIVE at Bishop Grosseteste University on Thursday 13th October is the first conference of its kind to be organised by Think2Speak, a community interest company based at BG Futures at BGU.
The company and the conference aim to show those who work with young people how they can support their emotional wellbeing and understand the impact and value of doing so.
Think2Speak, set up by Lizzie Jordan and Naomi Watkins, provides workshops, advice and consultancy to support schools where young people are affected by issues surrounding matters such as self-harm, suicide, HIV, domestic abuse, puberty, LGBT and mental health.
John Bird, who was brought up in an orphanage, served time in a young offenders’ institution and often slept rough in London as a young man, will share his story and describe how his childhood and those he met influenced his life.
“Staff in many schools have difficult conversations with young people that could be handled much better,” said Lizzie. “When schools ask for help we go in to support the senior management team, the teachers and the pupils with a range of services, including training, workshops, counselling and advocacy.
“Our inaugural one-day conference is all about discussing the difficulties schools are facing, the benefits to the whole school for investing in emotional wellbeing, and signposting staff to the support that’s available.”
In the morning there will be a series of short, focused TED-style talks covering the personal impact, the academic perspective and the school experience of the value of investing in emotional wellbeing of students, young people and the wider community.
In the afternoon delegates will go back to the classroom to participate in a series of bookable workshops on topics including domestic abuse, puberty, HIV, suicide and self-harm. The sessions will make use of combinations of teacher training and demonstrations of the student workshops available to both primary and secondary schools.
Simon Blake, Chief Executive of the National Union of Students, will also give a presentation on the day.
Think2Speak LIVE is free of charge for senior leaders working in education. This includes head teachers, assistant heads, principals, deputies, business managers, heads of department of schools, colleges and universities, and heads of local authority education departments, national curriculum and government-funded education organisations.