A MINDFULNESS coaching company, which helps children and their teachers learn techniques to tackle stress, low self esteem and anxiety, has been commissioned to take its programmes into secondary and primary schools in the North East.
Living Mindfully has been working with students at more than 21 secondary schools across the region. Now it has won a contract to develop its sought-after Living Mindfully in Schools programme for pupils in Hartlepool.
The community interest company (CIC), based in Consett, County Durham, was set up by Gary Heads in 2009 as a social enterprise after he delivered mindfulness programmes for Job Centre Plus. His teaching saw 70 per cent of people he taught securing a job after being unemployed for up to ten years.
“Mindfulness is a life skill which can be practised on a daily basis,” said Gary.
“Two massive issues which schools are facing are exam stress and self harm among young people. We believe that by introducing mindfulness at secondary and primary school level you’re helping them cope with the pressure of exams at an early age, and giving them that resilience to cope with any anxiety, panic attacks and stress.”
Demand is at an all-time high for the company, which has just moved into new premises based at Consett Business Park, run by Business Durham.
Gary and his team of six staff and associate teachers deliver mindfulness programmes to local authorities, charities, health services, employment services and universities. The company is an NHS service provider and more than 3,500 people have been referred onto their mindfulness based stress reduction programmes across County Durham and Darlington by GPs whose patients are suffering from anxiety, depression and chronic pain.
Now Gary plans to take his programmes across Europe by increasing the number of teachers via a year-long mindfulness practitioner training programme he is launching in September. He is also working on a book entitled Living Mindfully which will be published in November and has developed a meditation App which is available on iTunes.