Innovation

We have a very active innovation and development programme through which we are creating ways of having more impact, with more young people, more sustainably and more efficiently.  We look to do our work collaboratively through a series of projects that aim to be a “gathering point” for anyone interested in better outcomes for young people.  For each project we are keen to hear from potential collaboration partners who might bring expertise, insights, access or funding.  We are also open to proposals for new projects.  Already we have worked with schools, parents, NHS Trusts, young people, youth work charities, advocacy and representative bodies, national experts, sports clubs and universities.

Some of our current projects are listed below.  For more information or to get involved, please contact Stefan Nahajski on 07768 305060 or innovation@eikon.org.uk.

Smart Moves Resilience: based on the Resilience Framework of Angie Hart and Derek Blincow and building on the Resilient Classroom resource created at Hove Park School, this programme helps teachers to support young people as they build resilience skills.  Initially targeted at Year 6 to Year 7 transition the programme is being adopted across a wider age range.  The programme has been updated to address common SEN needs in mainstream schools and a Special School version is being produced (funding needed).  The programme is also being developed for use to support Looked After Children.  The project has been funded by Surrey’s CYP Mental Health Transformation Programme and Surrey Heath Learning Partnership.  We have worked in partnership with Boingboing, University of Brighton, Collingwood College, Kings International, Tomlinscote College, Connaught Junior School, Cordwalles,  South Camberley Primary, Ravenscote Junior, Carwarden House School, young people involved in Eikon clubs and a residential.  An independent evaluation of the programme is being run by Royal Holloway University London.  You can read more about the Smart Moves programme here.

Whole School Wellbeing:  Through this innovation, we are supporting schools to develop a whole school approach to wellbeing across the 8 key areas of school wellbeing.  Through the process we help schools to capture what they already have, collect feedback and create a whole school development plan for wellbeing.

School Systems Leadership:  Leadership is at the core of the Whole School Wellbeing approach.  Systems Leadership is a set of theories and tools that help to align organisations to achieve their purpose and provides schools with a unique approach to understand and develop their systems, symbols and behaviours.  We are working in partnership with an international Systems Leadership consultancy and are looking to work with a small number of selected schools to pilot this transformational programme.

Integrated Support for Recovery: There are many influences on our emotional wellbeing and mental health (EWMH).  Nationally it is recognised that there is a need for new ways of supporting young people’s EWMH that address the scarcity of funding, shortages of traditional clinical staff and often quite disconnected commissioning.  This project is looking at the experience of emerging poor mental health from the young person and their family’s perspective and how different parts of a young person’s world could work together to support their recovery and emotional wellbeing.  The project is funded by Surrey’s CYP Mental Health Transformation Programme.  We are working in partnership with Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Trust, Dr Duncan Law, Surrey Family Voice, parents, young people, Leatherhead Youth Project, Surrey Youth Focus, Surrey County Council, schools and other support agencies.

Digital Youthwork:  The Internet, smartphones and social media play an increasing role in young people’s lives and yet are not an integral part of most youth work practice or other support mechanisms.  This project is looking at current practice, opportunities and challenges of a using digital tools for in support.

Mental Health Stigma:  We often use comedy to explore those things we don’t feel comfortable talking about.  This project is looking as how comedy can help to breakdown the stigma related to mental ill health.  We are grateful to the Surrey Heath Grassroots Innovation Fund for supporting the project.

Asset Based Community Development:  Rather than focussing on what’s not going so well in a community, we are discovering and building on all the fantastic strengths of that community to help the community do projects it wants to work on.  Working in Old Dean in Surrey Heath, we are partnering with local residents to rebuild the playground in the middle of the community, whilst having some fun and learning new skills along the way.  Cllr Bill Chapman is kindly supporting this work.

Family Peer Support: One of the most consistent experiences of mental ill health we hear about when listening to families and young people is the sense of being alone.  Parents and carers also share the power of finally connecting with someone who is going through similar things, understands and has tips to share.  This project will build peer support groups that draw in others and co-produce support and advice.  We expect the impact to be better outcomes for young people and families through better support and successful navigation and engagement with services.  We are pleased to be working in partnership with YMCA East Surrey on this project.

Social Prescribing: Recognising the holistic nature of our wellbeing and recovery ill health has been an enduring theme of our work.  Health professionals often voice their frustration at “not knowing what’s out there” to help patients for whom traditional medical approaches are not, or are only part of the solution.  Families and young people express want to be seen as a whole person and want “the system” to work better together.   Our approach is to build a social prescribing network that is co-produced with families and young people, and puts them at the centre of solutions for better health and wellbeing.  We are exploring various routes to fund the further development of this innovation.

Family Life Skills: Successful family relationships are a key influence in young people’s development and long term health and wellbeing.  Parenting skills programmes have been shown to be effective as interventions to support a wide range of difficulties – however engagement is sometimes difficult.  The lasting impact of early attachment is broadly recognised and yet universally taught.   This innovation seeks to acknowledge the importance of these key building blocks by looking at ways in which family life skills and knowledge could be taught in schools, helping young people to understand their own families, and in turn to increase their knowledge and skills as adults be it raising their own child, part of an extended family or in roles in wider society.

Transport as a Service: Transport in all its guises is a key enabler in society for all ages and yet our systems are fragmented and archaic in their design.  Cars, motorbikes, buses, the myriad of under utilised mini-buses owned by organisations, patient transport services, community transport, taxis, local community care charities etc all seek to deal with the same basic need of getting people from A to B but are disintegrated and either not responsive or expensive (to own and to the environment).  Transport as a Service is not a direct delivery innovation by Eikon, but rather a challenge exercise to our current transport approaches to use modern technology to provide an affordable, responsive, integrated, environmentally sustainable transport service, and will result in a vision for a new approach that has greater benefits to society.  Examples of potential solutions already exist, what is missing is cross-sector work to trial and implement them.  We are keen to hear from potential collaboration partners and are approaching various stakeholders.

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