Mitcham Town Cluster, Sustainable Merton, The Challenge and Attic Theatre partnered up to deliver yet another SHINE taster and transition summer holiday course in order to promote the initiative. It was an unique opportunity for the new recruits to engage in positive activities before their official enrolment in September. In total, over 70 places were offered to students from 12 local schools (11 primaries and 1 special) for the SHINE taster and transition programme during the first week of summer holidays. We offered over 30 graduates a chance to come back and work on their confidence skills through drama to help them settle in the secondary school as well as 4 voluntary placements. The programme covered health and wellbeing topics, gardening, cooking, sports, a dance masterclass and drama activities. The week escalated into an Exhibition of work during the final day with guests including families and teachers. Attendance has been excellent on the whole with a high number of peer mentors which is very encouraging. The feedback we received from stakeholders and sponsors was very positive. The project was supported by Public Health Merton and Wimbledon Foundation.
Peer Mentor Training
SHINE Merton continues to offer Peer Mentor training opportunities. Our in-house training is designed for older students who wish to learn how to support younger pupils during SHINE sessions by passing on their experience and sharing their knowledge and skills. Selected SHINE graduates were invited to come back, train and volunteer in SHINE sessions subject to successful completion of the training course. We had a fantastic response from students and parents which was excellent to see and currently have a group of thirteen trained volunteers!
FAN Cooking Club for Graduates
Successfully running for the sixth year, the FAN cooking club is designed for all SHINE Peer mentors and secondary student volunteers as an opportunity for personal and practical skills development. The club is currently funded by London Dispossessed Fund and is focused on food, art and nurture. This is a fully inclusive project bringing together twelve young people (aged 12-18) from various backgrounds and schools, including students with special educational needs. The Cooking Club runs for 30 weeks per year every Friday at Cricket Green School.
We are fully committed to improving health of our local community and making a positive difference. We have successfully overseen delivery of a number of intervention programmes such as CAMHS youth consultation, Mindfulness courses for staff and Coaching training. MTCT also hosted a Healthy Communities celebration and the Challenge event aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles and tackling childhood obesity.
The Sanctuary Art Therapy Space
We recently launched our stunning Art Therapy Space focusing on therapeutic evidence based approach. Our aim is to raise children and young people's self-confidence and independence through the provision of Creative Arts. This specially tailored intervention will help over 60 pupils in the greatest need to modify behaviour which might affect their education and wellbeing, and will enable them to fully engage in school and at all costs, avoid exclusion. The project is fully funded by the Taylor Family Foundation.
Parent Support Advisor Network
The Cluster Development Manager regularly meets with the school PSA's offering them support and guidance. These meetings proved to be a fantastic hub for networking, fundraising and introduction to a number of work professionals and partner agencies.
Adult and Family Learning
We have partnered for the seventh year with Merton Adult Education to deliver adult and family learning sessions. These included First Aid and Money Management courses. Upon course completion, we noticed a number of people enrolling to other learning courses and searching for employment which was very pleasing to see.
Our development work is based on strategic planning and innovation. We are dedicated in meeting community needs in financially sustainable ways. Our team of educational and business experts is very open to new ideas and building partnerships. Please give us a call if you wish to discuss potential projects!
Our team of highly experienced Headteachers and partners continues to offer specially tailored support in the areas of business administration, coaching, behaviour management, leadership, innovation, children, adolescent and adult mental health.
The Cluster is committed to sharing resources and good practice by putting on a series of twilights and shorter training courses for teaching and support staff. We have successfully delivered second Staff Conference for over 500 people on 19th February.