St Basils Staff take on Coniston challenges themselves to help ‘sell’ Mental Skills Training to Young People
24 APR 2015

St Basils staff pictured here on top of the Old Man of Coniston with Birmingham University staff and Raymond Priestly Centre instructors.
See below for full photo gallery. 

Twelve members of staff from St Basils, along with four members of staff from the University of Birmingham visited the Raymond Priestley Centre in Coniston, Cumbria, for three days in March. The trip was planned as part of the rollout of the Mental Skills Training (MST) programme across St Basils supported accommodation schemes which, as part of our 'BOOST' approach, aims to help young people develop positive mindsets, emotional resilience and coping strategies to achieve positive results in their lives.

The aim of the trip was to enable St Basils staff, which included managers as well as those that support young people directly, to experience some of the activities that young people will take part in at the end of their 10 week Mental Skills Training programme, as well as facilitating a skills and knowledge exchange. St Basils staff were encouraged to provide feedback to the Raymond Priestley Centre staff, as well as those from the University of Birmingham to help develop forthcoming MST sessions and residentials for young people. The trip was also an opportunity for St Basils staff to advise the University and centre staff in setting boundaries, working with our young people and overcoming some of the challenges they may face in taking young people out of their comfort zones and up the Old Man of Coniston!

Learning, Skills and Work Manager Tamaan Wilkinson said:  “I think it’s safe to say that it was a very interesting experience for us all! We realised just how difficult some of the activities were, particularly scaling the Old Man of Coniston and we really needed to use some of the coping strategies we were encouraged to develop before the climb. It was great for staff to experience the benefits of Mental Skills Training for ourselves as we’re now better able to support young people in engaging with and really getting the most out of the programme. The centre itself is located in a beautiful, scenic part of the country and we were lucky to be able to enjoy this”.

The next wave of MST has begun and is being delivered at three supported accommodation schemes (Carole Gething House, John Austin Court and Edmonds Court), facilitated by Sam Cooley and Mary Quinton, Research Fellows at the University of Birmingham’s School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences.

Photo gallery