Mindfulness project helps Wigan teenagers focus on the positives
The scheme, which is being delivered by One Together CIC, involves working with teenagers taking part in sessions using special headsets.
The first part of the course was online via Zoom and then a small group of young people have been invited to socially distanced meetings on Saturdays at Our Lady’s Primary School in Aspull.
Mindfulness aims to improve mental health by focusing on your awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations, and is used as a therapeutic technique.
It can help people be more productive, reduce stress and anxiety and builds confidence and makes you happier.
Hayley Kearns, a director of Aspull-based One Together CIC along with Neil West, said: “We’re delivering the project and it’s being commissioned by community group Parents of Aspull.
“Funding for the virtual reality equipment has come from the National Lottery.
“The sessions have been online since lockdown for about eight weeks but the past two weeks have seen a group of young people meet up in a socially distanced way.”
The group have used special VR Oculus headsets to help them with their mindfulness.
Hayley, who has two children involved with the project, Emily, 14 and Asher, 12, said: “The virtual headsets allow for the children to immerse themselves in a virtual world.
“So they can be sitting by a waterfall or together in a meeting room with others and helping them build resilience.
“They are able to use their headsets from home during the time on the course. It’s a way for them to develop confidence and improve their mental health.
“The feedback from parents has been phenomenal and have said how the sessions have helped their children who had become very isolated during lockdown, and have helped them make friends.”
Hayley added that the next part of the project will involve helping adults over 60 do the same thing as the children have recently - and that other similar projects will take place in the future.
In the past, One Together have run a Festival of Kindness in Aspull village at The One House community centre in Aspull.
It saw hot food and hot and cold drink served as well as reiki tasters, rock painting and crafts including making dream catchers.
The group also decided to run a competition for the three primary schools in Aspull called Pots of Kindness where children were invited to write a letter to someone who had shown kindness during lockdown. The group will meet for the next two weeks on a Saturday at Our Lady’s Primary School in Aspull.
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