Southampton’s Big Lottery Headstart programme – Emotional First Aid a ‘Whole School’ Approach!

Earlier in the summer the EFA team were delighted to form one of the many exciting projects taking place in Southampton as part of the Big Lottery’s Headstart initiative, so we thought we would share with you our vision for what we hope to achieve over the coming 18 months.

The vision is to use the EFA training to form a ‘whole school’ approach to emotional well-being and promoting positive mental health.

3As a team we have been collecting and collating Pre & Post course evaluations from all EFA courses delivered across the UK.  To date approximately 3000 people have attended EFA training across the UK and give us incredible feedback:

“One particular child I had been supporting, has turned her behaviour around. The knowledge the course gave me and the confidence in what I was doing helped me steer her in the right direction. I used to feel out of my depth and unsure if I was handling each child properly, however the EFA training has given more confidence in myself to be able to support them in whatever way each individual child needs.”

“I feel that I have been able to identify problems earlier with more confidence, leading to better outcomes for those children.”

Our job now is to further sow the seeds of EFA in Southampton and to promote our work to staff working across the whole children, young people and families workforce.

4 5We are already engaging key organisations to discuss the Headstart project and identify agencies who are keen to promote a greater sense of well-being and improve the mental health outcomes for children, young people and their families across the city.

7Our hope is that these seeds will grow and we aim to recruit 48 staff to become EFA Trainers across our 4 key training programmes:  Primary, Young Person, Parents & Peer EFA.

8As we move into October we aim to have identified the 48 candidates to begin the delivery of the Intensive Train the Trainer programmes.

11The course delivery for these trainers is scheduled to begin on the 3rd November 2014.

By the end of December 2014 Southampton City will have 48 new EFA Trainers.

1212 Trainers specialising in Parents’ EFA who will engage with the Parents of children in schools to focus on building support, resiliance and well-being in the home environment.

12 Trainers in Primary EFA, with a focus on skilling up staff working in the Primary Years setting to increase their confidence and capability to support 5-11 year old children around their emotional well-being.

12 Trainers in Young Persons EFA, with a focus on developing staff supporting secondary school aged children to increase confidence and skill set in regard to emotional well-being.

12 Trainers in Peer EFA, who will deliver the Peer EFA package in schools to train up Year 9 students who will act as mentors to their peers and support potentially vulnerable Year 6 students going through transition into big school.

13The Headstart Programme Board have identified this approach will be focussed in 3 Cluster areas in the city of Southampton with 4 trainers for each of the 4 training packages targeting staff, parents and students in the the 3 cluster areas.

Between January and December 2015 the trainers will deliver:



By the end of the December 2015 our aim is that across the city of Southampton, 360 Parents will have accessed the Parents’ EFA programme, 360 staff across supporting Children & Young People in the Primary & Secondary age group will have completed Emotional First Aid training and 108 Students will be trained in the Peer Mentor programme.  Details of all of these courses will be released on our website once we have dates agreed.

The Headstart project is being evaluated by Southampton University and we hope we can track changes to well-being across these client groups through this whole school approach.

The project is also funding the EFA Team to produce a Buddy EFA programme designed to for Year 6 students to support vulnerbale students in year R or making transition from Infant to Junior School.19And the creation of Worry Workshops for Primary School’s that will allow us to re-contextalise the Discovery Guide to Anxiety for a much younger audience

20We hope to announce more news of these exciting developments later in the year.


If you are interested in the Headstart project or wish to register your interest in either becoming an EFA Trainer or attending one of the EFA Headstart courses in Southampton, please contact the EFA Team on: 02380 716674 or email:



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