EFA Office Move

Dear All,

The EFA team has been relocated to a new office.  Our new office address is:

Emotional First Aid/ Solent NHS Trust

2nd Floor, Adelaide Health Centre

Western Hospital Campus

William Macleod Way


SO16 4XE

Please be aware that at present both Stuart & Paul’s office telephones are down. We do not know when this issue will be resolved, but the main EFA Office number is operational: 02380 716674

Stuart & Paul can be reached by email or work mobile.

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More Than Just a Plaster – How EFA can benefit Foster Carers

Please see a wonderful article written by Dean Trotter, Chair of Southend on Sea’s Foster Families Council from November 2011


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Developing Empathy in School Staff through Emotional First Aid

We were recently having a tidy up of our computer hard-drives and came across this article which was published in the British Journal of School Nursing back in September 2011.

Many thanks to Nick Higgins & Allison Strudwick (School Nurses) who contributed to the article.


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Headstart Knowsley Newsletter July 2015

Please see attached Knowsley’s July Headstart newsletter, detailing some of the spectacular work being delivered under the Headstart project

July 2015 HeadStart Knowsley newsletter

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Headstart Southampton Newsletter August 2015

Please see the new Southampton Headstart magazine detailing all the exciting interventions that form part of Southampton’s project

Headstart Southampton Magazine August 2015

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Headstart Southampton – Parents’ EFA next course dates

Dear Parent/Guardian,

Emotional First Aid courses are being run across a number of school clusters in Southampton in 2015 and you may be interested in joining the next Parents EFA course.

Here is an overview of the Parents EFA course and its primary aims:

Everyone knows you’re a parent… but do you remember who you are!

When we become parents our priorities change, we take on the responsibility of another little person and we tend to get so focused on this we forget we are still a person in our own right.

Parents’ emotional first aid will help you re-discover you!
We sometimes feel that we must be the only person in the world feeling the way we feel. Parents’ emotional first aid will help you recognise that we all share similar thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviours to varying degrees.
The course helps to create strategies for our anxieties; identify the stress factors in our everyday lives; gain a better understanding of ourselves and promote a healthier sense of our own wellbeing.

Aims of the course…
• Explore and rediscover your sense of self
• Identify early signs of emotional distress
• Recognise and understand your own emotional needs
• Understand and develop your own positive emotional health
• Explore the risks we pose to ourselves
• Develop and enhance your self esteem
• Gain strategies to manage your own emotional wellbeing
• Develop a support network with other parents
This next course is running in the daytime in the Conference Room which is in the Sports Building.

Course Times Dates Contact Contact details
Daytime course Wednesdays
9.30 a.m. to 12.30 pm Sept 9, 16, 23, 30, Oct 7,14, 21

Kate Gardiner

email: efapcantell@gmail.com

Please use the contact details to ask for a place, and let us have your contact details.

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Healthwatch Knowsley Annual Report 14-15

We are delighted to get a mention Healthwatch Knowsley’s 2014-15 Annual Report (page 11) who form part of Knowsley’s Big Lottery funded Headstart project.

You can read the full report and learn more about this fantastic organisation from the link below.

Healthwatch Knowsley

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EFA visit the Isle of Man (The Emotional Well-being TT)

At the begining of June 2015 the EFA team were contacted by a number of staff working across Education and Youth services on the Isle of Man enquiring how they could access EFA training to enhance listening skills and services within secondary schools on the island.  After a string of very exciting phonecalls and emails, Sue Marriot, Special Educational Needs Advisor from the Department of Education and Children, coordinated an aproach which would offer an intensive Train the Trainers course in Young Persons Emotional First Aid to a potential of 12 delegates running from Monday 21st – Friday 26th June 2015.

The EFA Team were delighted to be invited over and welcomed by 11 staff representing all five Secondary Schools from the island, staff from Specialist Educational Provision, Further Education and the Youth Service.  IMAG0120_1The course participants spent a very engaging and intense 3 days experiencing the YP EFA course, discussing a variety of issues which affect young people on the island, sharing strategies to support and enable self management, and networking to establish greater support for each other, fellow colleagues and young people.

IMAG0119On Thursday & Friday the participants started to explore more about the delivery of Emotional First Aid and began to share ideas about how they can  form a strategic group to create a coordinated approach to cascading out the training to all staff working with young people across the island.

As part of this the EFA team observed some incredible microteaches, and are delighted to welcome 11 new YP EFA Trainers into the EFA community.


While visiting the island, the EFA Team were honoured to be invited to meet with Sue Marriot, Special Educational Needs Advisor, Sally Brookes, Director of Services for Children and Ken Callister, Principle Youth Officer, to discuss how Emotional First Aid training can be disemminated across the whole island to benefit all children and young people.

Upon returning home, we were also delighted to read the fantastic review of the training on the Isle of Man Government Website and in the Isle of Man/ Manx News

Isle of Man Government Website


Manx News Wesbite


We look forward to sharing more exciting news as the Isle of Man trainers begin to take this further forward.



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Primary PGCE Students at Southmapton University do EFA!

Over the past few years the EFA team have been invited to work with Southampton University’s School of Education to deliver workshops on a Health & Well-being days for PGCE students.

Following on from the EFA workshops delivered at the Health & Well-being day on the 12th December 2014, there was sufficent interest to host a Primary EFA course for a group of PGCE/ Teach Direct students.

The students gave up their saturday mornings from 25th April – 30th May 2015 to attend the six sessions of Primary EFA.  We would like to wish all 10 students who attended the training all the very best for their coming NQT year and are privilaged to have been part of the start of your teaching careers.

The students were asked to write a brief statement of why they felt fellow PGCE students should attend the training and we have attached their comments below.

“All PGCE students should have access to the tools/ strategies and time for reflection about pupils (and personal) emotional states/ needs.  I feel more equipped to seek understanding of pupils and how to target needs (personal) of individual children.  The course has made me question my practice and children’s behaviours.”

“I believe that this course should be compulsory as it really focuses on the other aspect of teaching that the PGCE course doesn’t focus on:  the welfare of the child.  It allows you to discuss issues you may have had with children in your class, listen to other peoples views, look at theory and practice intertwined as well as giving a realistic perspective of what we may come across.  The course is fantastically run and has created a safe and long-lasting group that we will hopefully stay in contact with.  It has given a brilliant perspective on EFA and given me techniques I will keep for life.  It focuses on others as well as self which is really important.  A very valuable six sessions!”

“The EFA course has given me a set of tools & a support system that will be immensely important in my future career.  Not only as a means of meeting my students emotional needs & coping with their emotional distress, but also in ensuring my own emotional well-being.”

“The Emotional First Aid course has been thoroughly worthwhile.  I have learned so much in such a short space of time about myself but also about the teaching profession.  It has provided me with valuable life skills which will last throughout my career with regards to helping children when they are identified as needing help as well as helping myself – for example how to cope with stresses and how to take care of myself.   The most valuable thing that I will take away with me is how normal some of the things I have been feeling are and the significance of others in helping me cope.”

“Having done the EFA course it is more than clear to me this should be integrated into everyone’s teacher training.  The course covers such important aspects of being a successful and effective teacher, which were only briefly touched upon during the Health Day.  I feel far more equipped for my NQT year and have been given the tools for reflection on these aspects.  I think it should be a compulsory part of teacher training.”

“The course has acted as a constant reminder that I need to trust my gut.  When I can tell there is something wrong I need to work hard to get to the bottom of it for that child as I may be the only adult who is thinking about it for them.”

“I think that the Primary EFA course is extremely beneficial training for teachers.  The course focuses on the well-being of children and teachers, offers brilliant opportunities to discuss and share strategies (from behaviour management to dealing with stress) and is run by two kind and caring practitioners who are brilliant!  I have learnt a huge amount in the 6 available sessions and feel I have a much better understanding and higher levels of confidence in dealing with emotional first aid in school.”

“Everyone in teacher training should do the ‘Primary Emotional First Aid’ course as there is an increasing need in the profession to deal with all kinds of situations relating to pupils emotions.  Doing the course should hopefully equip teachers with the confidence to know how to cope in those situations, getting the best outcome for all parties involved.”

“This course has made me feel a lot more prepared to have my own class in Sept.  The course facilitators, Stuart & Paul are absolutely brilliant.  They do not preach at you, rather give you time to think and reflect back to your own practice.  I love that they relate back to their experience and talk about real children and examples.”

If you are interested in more information on the Health & Well-being days Southampton University have put on for their PGCE students, Jenny Byrne & Sue Dewhirst have created a toolkit to support setting up a Health & Well-being days for trainee teachers attached below:

HealthDayToolkit FINAL_A4 letter to go with the toolkit

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EFA return to Plymouth

In October last year, the EFA team were invited to Plymouth to deliver 2 cohorts of Primary EFA to 30 staff from across Plymouth.

Ann Honey, Eggbuckland Vale Primary School, was keen to build on this and along with the support of PAPH (Plymouth Association of Headteachers) was able to secure funding for staff to become licensed to deliver both Primary & YP EFA courses to staff working in Primary & Secondary schools across the Plymouth area.

From the 20th – 30th April, the EFA team were invited back to Plymouth to facilitate a Train the Trainers course to 8 staff representing a variety of schools in the Plymouth area.

As part of their training participants were asked to deliver a 5 minute presentation on what they felt the benefits of the course were for both their colleagues and the children they work with.

We were treated to 8 fantastic presentations all of whom brought something new and rich that we hope to share with you all.  We are still waiting for copies of some of the presentations, but we would like to share one written by Fiona Goodsell, PSA, from Dunstone Primary.

What is Emotional First Aid? (EFA) & Why should my school practice EFA?

On the Primary Emotional First Aid course you will receive a box (show box). This box contains a toolkit; a strategy; a resource to help your staff to identify early signs of emotional distress so that the earliest possible intervention can be put in place to achieve balance for each individual child.

It is an ethos that can be permeated throughout your school and is not just for children in crisis.

We are all part of the aim to develop happy, healthy children who enjoy life and achieve their potential (Every Child Matters 2003 ). When something interrupts that development referral to outside agencies may be required and EFA can be the 1st step (or perhaps the only step required) in that process.

The benefit of training a wide variety of staff in your setting is that children will naturally choose a person to open up to/bond with. This will not always conveniently be your best qualified or most experienced member of staff. Children’s choices might be governed by almost imperceptible differences; It could be the TA in the next classroom because of the pretty necklaces she wears or the colour of her lipstick; it could be the parent reader who wears a certain perfume/aftershave.

I have highlighted the possible needs of children requiring the support of EFA in to this EFA kit and we will look at the contents.


Firstly, most of us have something that looks similar in our homes or cars. There is usually a label that lists the contents. It is worth noting at this stage that labelling children can be a 2 edged sword. For SEN children the label of a diagnosis is required to activate the various support agencies; for the child who is labelled by adults and peers as naughty, disruptive or just ‘weird’ it can be totally destructive.

The most obvious item missing from this 1st aid kit is a plaster. EFA is not about plastering over the cracks or just treating the symptoms. It goes much deeper to find a cause – WHY do children behave in a certain way?

String – represents the rope to grab if you need a lifeline

Safety Pin – one of Maslow’s (1943)most basic needs in his hierarchy – everyone needs to feel safe

Heart – every human being needs to feel love in order to thrive

Eraser – everyone deserves the opportunity to erase any little mistakes & help to start afresh

Paperclip – something to hold us together when things fall apart

Elastic Band – for when you are stretched to your limit

Candle – to light the way when things are at their darkest

Coin – so you are never completely broke – the coin represents a monetary value here but if a child ever gets to the stage of being broken then the system has failed them – EFA can be a part of interrupting and reversing that catastrophic decline

Marble – for when you feel you are losing yours – we have all experienced the chaotic child who has so much on their mind they don’t know where to start – and we expect them to sit down, focus and concentrate in the classroom!

Sweet – represents a treat – because we all need something positive to focus on or look forward to


So the question needs to be – not “why SHOULD you practise EFA?” but

“ why WOULDN’T you ?”

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