Nick Blackburn & David Walker - Building emotionally healthy communities
Darlington Wellbeing Trust has been set up to improve and enhance the emotional wellbeing and mental health of young people and their families, schools and communities. It has developed against a backdrop of radical change in the education and local authority sectors, as centralised state provision diminishes and free market ideologies take hold. For public services the costs of such change have been painful and profound, particularly so within the realm of "non essential" services. However this session seeks to demonstrate how such change provided the catalyst for the development of a unique model of working combining local authority, NHS and third sectors with social enterprise, a social model of mental health and a belief in prevention.
As the Trust places great emphasis on its founding principles, such as it's belief in the need to engage with the school context and its community so that problems are not treated in isolation, this session will also look at how the model translates these into practice and how it future-proofs the integrity of Trust's work.
Nick Blackburn is Founding Chair of the Board of Trustees of Darlington Wellbeing Trust and head teacher of Heathfield Primary School in Darlington. The school has a strong ethos of placing emotional well being at the heart of its business and has recently seen the completion of a well being centre which allows for co-location of Local Authority, NHS and Wellbeing Trust staff. Nick has a strong track record in school leadership, capacity development, and school improvement. He also works with other schools looking to improve and mentors aspiring school leaders.
David Walker is Founding Director of Darlington Wellbeing Trust. David has a background in social work and counselling and from 2001 to 2011 was manager of the Schools Counselling Service in Darlington. Now working as an independent counsellor and consultant with schools and academies, alongside Nick, David has been instrumental in conceptualising and developing the Wellbeing Trust Model.