The mission of the Connections in Mind Foundation is to support children, young people and adults to develop executive function skills with a focus on supporting young people who face financial disadvantage, special educational needs and, or mental health challenges.
Executive Functions are the brain skills we need to get things done - we need good executive function skills to organise ourselves, prioritise tasks, to stay on track with our goals and to juggle the demands of life.
Research shows that good executive function skills directly impact how well you are able to do at school, in our jobs, our wellbeing and relationships.
They are key skills for doing life well.
For some young people developing these skills is harder than for others. Poverty and trauma can have a really bad effect on how these skills develop.
If a young person is neurodiverse - for example if they have autism, ADHD or dyslexia this can mean that executive function skills are very challenging.
This is a big problem because adults who support young people who struggle with these skills - parents, teachers, teaching assistants, are often not sure how to best help them. This leads to some young people not doing as well as they could at school, reaching their academic and personal goals, struggling in relationships and often developing mental health challenges such as anxiety or depression.
Young people growing up in the distracting world of the 21st century with addictive technology have to work even harder to master these skills.
At the most extreme end of the scale some young people who struggle with these skills can end up breaking the law/offending. It is estimated that almost half of all young people in young offender institutions struggle with executive function skills.
We want to develop an executive function coaching programme for young people facing disadvantage that will help them to develop the skills they need to succeed.
1. Coaching for young people: Through the Connections in Mind Company we have coached hundreds of young people, we want to adapt this programme to support young people in partner state schools, youth offender institutions and youth projects we are working with.
We want to pilot this programme with ten young people with a view to it reaching hundreds in the future.
We need £8,000 to design the programme, train and support the coaches and to deliver it to ten young people.
2. Support for Parents: Parents are also critical in supporting their children to develop strong executive function skills but there is currently very little support, so we want to deliver a series of six week courses to 100 parents and carers of young people facing disadvantage who struggle with executive function skills.
We plan to adapt the course we currently run to fit the needs of parents who are time poor and who speak English as a second language. We hope in the future this course could spread to thousands of parents.
We need £12,000 to adapt our course and deliver it to 100 parents.
What your donation will achieve
Your donation will enable a child who could be feeling defeated, overwhelmed and who is not reaching their potential to have a chance to develop the brain skills they need to excel at life.
Or it will enable a parent of a child who is struggling to know how best to support them with potentially life changing impact.