Eleven Schools in Tower Hamlets will participate in year 2 of the project

The peer-to-peer Wellbeing Ambassadors Programme, launched by Spotlight and THEWS, is the first of its kind in London and the vast majority of the UK.

From each of the schools, up to five young people will be recruited and trained up as Wellbeing Ambassadors.

Using peer support, their focus will be on reducing stigma and improving access to further support.

Each of the 66 student Mentors will have mentees allocated to them.

This programme will help to embed a ‘whole school approach’ to mental health and emotional wellbeing in each location, with dozens of additional young people being signposted towards Spotlight’s other offers such as Health Spot (a youth GP service), Docklands Outreach (talking therapies) and Safe East (drug/alcohol/sexual health advice).

The Peer Mentoring Model for Mental Health and Wellbeing

For our Tower Hamlets community

The project will work directly with young people from the community in Tower Hamlets who are experiencing difficulty with their mental health.

Early intervention

Young people displaying early signs and symptoms of poor mental health will be linked into peer-to-peer support so that they can receive advice and guidance. This support will be delivered through a variety of 1:1s, drop-in sessions and group workshops.

Working towards Mental Health Equity

Research finds that marginalised youth can feel disenfranchised by NHS and CAMHS services. This new scheme will bring mental health intervention and support directly to young people of colour and other marginalised groups.

Credit: Rehan Jamil

Black and Asian youth will be the main benefactors of this project, representing 46% and 12% of the local population in Poplar, Tower Hamlets.

What you need to know about the project:

  • Six training sessions will take place in November and December 2022 for young people to be developed into Peer Mentors. They will also be accredited as Youth Mental Health First Aiders.
  • THEWS and their team of Education Wellbeing Practitioners will be key in-school supports to the project.
  • This builds upon similar work done in Bradford, the West Midlands and Ipswich.
  • Mentors will have clinical support from qualified psychologists from January onwards, when the programme is due to start.
  • We aim to embed a ‘whole school approach’ to mental health and wellbeing.
  • Pilot scheme running for a year until July 2023.

The Anna Freud Centre Peer Mentoring Toolkit

The project will use the Anna Freud Centre Peer Mentoring Toolkit to inform the programme’s methodology:

Read More

What our supporters say

About Spotlight

Spotlight is an award-winning youth service in Tower Hamlets, designed by and for young people. Spotlight aims to inspire and empower young people by engaging them in a range of co-produced creative, active and inspirational programmes.

There are high levels of child poverty in Tower Hamlets which leads to vulnerability.

Spotlight has a nuanced understanding of the intersection of faith, culture, gender, race and socioeconomics affecting young people on the project and their lived experience has already been developed at Spotlight through 10 years of specialist work within these communities.

Spotlight engages 4,000 young people each year

Spotlight engages 4,000 young people each year, maintains strong links with schools, faith-groups and community organisations, and, using decades of collective in-house experience, has a demonstrable record of delivering excellence in youth work.

Health Spot & additional services

Spotlight provides inclusive drop-in spaces and a range of specialist interventions including our in-house GP Surgery Health Spot, talking therapies from Docklands Outreach and drugs and alcohol advice from Safe East.

The schools involved

Morpeth School

Langdon Park School

Stepney All Saints School

Bow School

Mulberry UTC

Mulberry School for Girls

Central Foundation School for Girls

St Paul's Way Trust School

ELAM

Mulberry Stepney Green School

George Green's School

Get in touch

If you have any questions about this project please get in touch.

We are Spotlight
Empowerment Lead