Engage Trust UK - save our mental health programme

Matthew Foster profile

Project by Matthew Foster

Engage Trust UK - save our mental health programme

Matthew Foster profile

Project by Matthew Foster



raised in 58 days



Help us to keep our FREE schools mental-health programme going at a time when it is needed more than ever.

Most schools cannot afford to pay for our programme out of their budgets. We have been providing this service FREE OF CHARGE to schools who want to strengthen the mental health of their pupils. 

We now face an unanticipated situation where many of the funders we would normally approach are no longer accepting applications for programmes like ours. Instead they are focussing on the Covid-19 situation. Our Schools programme will stop without your support.

We asked the young people who had gone through the programme why they would recommend our programme. They said:

  • Because it is useful and it boosts confidence.
  • Because they would have fun and it would help them.
  • It has helped me through pressure a lot.
  • People can learn how bad things impact on life.
  • Because it takes you away from stress and you get to talk about your feelings, and it will help you forever.
  • Because people can talk to someone about stuff that is on their mind instead of suffering on their own.
  • Because they might be going through the same things as us and it will help them a lot.
  • It is really helpful and it is really useful when you need to talk to someone about your feelings.
  • Because if they are not confident it could help them.


As COVID-19 struck and we went into lock-down Engage Trust UK had delivered a highly successful mental health schools programme in a school in Wolverhampton. The results from a 13-week pilot course were outstanding – 100% of the participants felt their mental health had improved and they had learned the key skills to continue making the improvements. 100% recommended both the group courses and one-to-one sessions.  Many participants asked to continue on in the course. As a result, the school asked us to scale up the programme for more students in the upcoming term, and to make the project permanent. We have offered the course for free and alongside this we would love to be able to offer this opportunity to more schools.

We know that there is a need in Wolverhampton to tackle mental health issues. The risk factors that are likely indicators of higher level of mental health needs in children and young people are much higher in Wolverhampton compared to England averages. This suggests that young people in Wolverhampton are at a significantly higher level of risk of mental health disorders than most children across England. Nearly 4,000 children in Wolverhampton suffer from mental health problems that degrade their quality of life and capacity for attainment. These problems also shorten their lives. Anxiety and depression can lead to life-long physical ailments and struggles with mental health, which can result in self-harm and even suicide. With a reported rise in Domestic Violence and lengthened periods of isolation,  the COVID-19 crisis has heightened these mental health problems, especially among young people.

We need your help so that we can continue to provide this much needed support to young people and schools FREE.


“Since September Engage Trust’s programme has been working inside The King's CofE school. They have exceptional relationships built on care, respect and trust. Pupils on the programme have been excited every week to work with both Matt and Sarah. Our pupils have felt they can share some really personal stories with both and we have seen a clear improvement in their confidence. We have seen  the amazing difference they have been making with our pupils. Thank you!” Member of staff at King's CofE School

Our mental health programme is the result of extensive consultation with statutory agencies, schools, voluntary agencies, young people, and parents. The consensus amongst this diverse group of stakeholders is that the school setting is the most appropriate and effective place to offer support, advice and training regarding mental health. There is consensus that the most appropriate agents to offer that support are voluntary agencies like Engage Trust UK.

We provide group sessions based on student year levels and additional one-to-one sessions for the young people most in need.  Each student is provided with a folder and resources are added to it each week, which they take away with them at the end of the programme. Our interactive programme includes guest speakers, videos and plenty of time for discussion.

The programme helps young people identify the situations and life experiences that cause them to have poor self-image and low confidence. They look at how they can develop a more positive outlook and approach to those same situations. Topics covered include but not exhaustively:

  • Exploring how and why we feel the way we do. Looking at how our view of ourselves can shape how we think and how we perceive how the world sees us.
  • What does the media say about how young people should look, act, feel and think? The media doesn't always present the truth so how can we recognise and filter information from social media platforms.
  • Words and thoughts have the power to help us flourish or kill us. Developing / practicing positive good habits to improve us psychologically and physically.
  • Understanding how pressure can impact us emotionally, physically and psychologically.
  • Exploring the characteristics we value in others and identifying & accepting the positive characteristics we have in ourselves
  • Dealing with compliments and conflict.
  • Perseverance & Endurance 
  • How can young people find their unique place and role in their communities.


We need to be ready to go as soon as schools reopen, so that we can provide the right support at the right time for the young people of Wolverhampton. Your support will mean that we can secure staff to go into schools to deliver this programme as soon as schools open their doors to these young people again.

£5 can pay for homemade cookies and hot chocolate for 1 week of group sessions.

£15 for one young person's course materials

£40 can pay for a young person to receive 1 hour one-to-one support.

£80 can pay for a 1 hour group session.

£53 can sponsor a young person through 1 week of the programme

£417 can sponsor a young person through the full 13 week programme

£5000 will cover the full cost of up to 8 young people through 13 week programme


    • Please donate what you can. All donations are gratefully received
    • You can create a fundraising page and help us to hit our target through your fundraising activity. Ideas can be as simple or crazy as you like
    • Please also share this page with your friends and family and everyone you know


Engage Trust was started in direct response to the budget cuts that forced Wolverhampton Council to close its youth service, and many local voluntary agencies and community groups for young people also had to close their doors. We are particularly targeting the top 20% most deprived areas in the UK that fall in the area of Wolverhampton.

Our mission is to transform communities by engaging with young people, their families, and their wider communities. 

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