Across 2023, our conversations with our communities, have highlighted that the cost-of-living crisis is really impacting folks in a wide variety of ways, and that some aren’t clear of what support is available to them.
We know things are tricky at the moment for many folks, and whilst can’t solve many of the challenges, we’ve spent time pulling together this downloadable resource, to signpost our Mortal Fools community to those who can help.
Download our cost of living and emergency support resource by clicking here
If you’re struggling with things right now, the good news is, there is plenty of support available, but we recognize that it can be difficult to navigate, especially in a crisis or if you’re unsure where to start. But don’t worry - this resource is here to help, it signposts to support available across Northumberland and the wider North East and collates it in one place so you can download it and just have to hand.
This resource contains:
It’s so much more than just a “list” – we’ve pulled put helpful websites, emails, phone numbers and important information about each, just to make things a little easier.
We hope this resource is helpful and feel free to share it far and wide– as it may help others. We will be getting a print version created in 2024 and distributing widely into our Mortal Fools community.
Team Mortal Fools xx
Another year of conscious & thoughtful growth! Across the last year, we’ve supported more young people than ever before and co-created some brilliant work.
Cultural Development Manager Northumberland County Council:
“Mortal Fools continued growth and success is fabulous news for Northumberland and for children and young people everywhere. As well as co-creating powerful theatre productions and films of resonance and relevance, they are an excellent and inspirational training agency working across many diverse sectors.
This is testament to their clarity of vision and the effectiveness of their approach in supporting strong, dynamic individuals and the leaders of tomorrow.”
Across April 2022-April 2023, Mortal Fools meaningfully engaged with 1,316 young people – delivering programmes and projects for young people 48 weeks of the year, providing a safe creative outlet and supporting wellbeing.
Evidence from Mortal Fools young people’s programmes demonstrates that our projects play an increasingly significant part in our young people’s lives, mental health, and wellbeing. We’ve supported more young people with intersectional needs than ever before (now the majority of our beneficiaries) and developed specialist practice to support these complex needs and to achieve equity of opportunity.
We’ve featured in The Guardian, The Stage, North East Times, BDaily, North East Family Fun, High Life North and many other press publications and was on BBC Look North!
We had live audiences of 620 people and a digital audience of 5123, with our digital short form content reaching 375,593 people.
We’ve delivered 51 CONNECT training interventions and engaged 952 training participants from organisations across different sectors…
Here’s to another year of growth – thank you to our Mortal Fools community for making it all possible, and a big shout out to our young people, for motivating and challenging us every single day.
Our Impact Report is available in various formats as below – click on each hyperlink for the one that best suits you.
Visit our support us page to find out all the ways you can support our work & young people: www.mortalfools.org.uk/support-us
Over and out from Team Mortal Fools xx
SCHOOLS URGED TO JOIN MENTAL HEALTH CREATIVE INTERVENTION PROGRAMME WITH 50 FREE LICENCES AVAILABLE ACROSS NORTH OF TYNE
● MELVA supports children at a developmentally critical age to teach meaningful wellbeing strategies and develop emotional resilience
● Mortal Fools has teamed up with North of Tyne Combined Authority to give 50 schools across Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland free access to the 2023/2024 MELVA programme
● Eligible schools are encouraged to apply to tackle the growing mental health crisis among young people, in which an average of 5 children per classroom are likely to have a diagnosable mental health condition
A new partnership between a local creative intervention programme and the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) aims to support the mental health of children across Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.
Award-winning theatre, drama and creative learning charity Mortal Fools will work with NTCA to offer its specially developed creative intervention programme MELVA free of charge to 50 schools across the area for the 2023/2024 period, providing vital support at a time when at least 1 in 6 children aged 7-16 are likely to have a diagnosable mental health condition - an average of 5 children per classroom.
Designed in response to the nationwide children’s mental health crisis and the 2017 green paper ‘Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision’, MELVA is a creative intervention programme for key stage two children (ages 7-11), their teachers and families. Initially created as a live performance package, the MELVA programme has since been developed into a digital resource to support young people across the whole of the UK.
Comprising of a series of animations, a feature film split into episodes as well as an interactive choose-your-own-adventure game – all three elements are designed to go hand in hand with lesson plans and classroom resources. The MELVA intervention follows the adventures of Melva Mapletree, a young girl who navigates a set of challenges as she learns to recognise, understand and manage her ‘worrits’ - what she calls those niggling worries and concerns that can be difficult for children to identify.
Usually a chargeable web-based creative programme available through annual licences, MELVA is designed to be led by teaching staff in schools, taking children through a fun and creative story-based programme designed to help them better understand and manage their emotions and mental wellbeing.
Schools that participate in the NTCA scheme will have access to the programme from October 2023 until August 2024, including a unique school login for the full MELVA online portal, a bank of extension activities and themed assemblies, a dedicated MELVA Teacher Area and evaluation reports.
Eligible schools are encouraged to apply, and successful applicants will also be eligible for discounted renewal rates for 2024/2025. In addition, schools undertaking the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools Award can use the completion of the MELVA programme as part of their evidence portfolio.
By providing this programme free to 50 of the region’s schools, both Mortal Fools and NTCA hope to tackle the current national mental health crisis amongst children and young people.
Kiz Crosbie, CEO of Mortal Fools, commented: “We are delighted to be working with North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) for our Melva programme 2023-24. Both Mortal Fools and NTCA are committed to finding innovative ways to tackle the national mental health crisis amongst children and young people, including practical support for teachers.
The funding support NTCA have provided enables us to make the Melva programme available free of charge to 50 schools in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland – putting these important resources into the lives of thousands of North East children when the world is such a challenging place.”
Cllr Karen Kilgour, NTCA Cabinet Member for Education, Inclusion and Skills said: “School disruption due to COVID-19 has had significant impact on pupil’s academic achievement and is set to have a long tail of mental health repercussions. Evidence tells us that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are disproportionately affected.
At the North of Tyne Combined Authority, we are delighted to be working in partnership with award winning theatre, drama and creative learning charity, Mortal Fools to deliver MELVA. This creative approach to mental health and wellbeing, will support our region's children to develop resilience pathways and positive emotional responses and relationships.”
For more information on the MELVA programme visit www.melva.org.uk.
To find out more about how a school setting can get involved and to download the expression of interest form, visit: https://melva.org.uk/north-of-tyne/