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Friendly Faces at Uplands Community College

Discussion in 'Sevenoaks Chat' started by West Kent Mind, Mar 12, 2018. Replies: 0 | Views: 127

  1. West Kent Mind

    West Kent Mind New Member

    Friendly Faces is the initiative of Charlotte Davis-Knowles at Uplands Community College. Charlotte applied for the role of Mental Health Ambassador, part of a student leadership programme at Uplands. Her passion for mental health came from her personal experience with friends and family members in their struggles with mental health challenges. This encouraged her to help support students at her school. Her work now sees her champion a group of volunteer students who have set up a peer to peer support group called Friendly Faces.

    The focus of the scheme is to encourage younger students to turn to older students for help. They are there to listen to students’ concerns and challenges whilst, at the same time, helping them to develop their own coping strategies and problem solving skills.

    Since 2017 Charlotte runs a Friendly Faces room which is open every break and lunchtime. A quiet space where students can go and talk to members of the ‘Friendly Faces Team’. Often it can help to open up and to get things off your chest and talk to someone who is genuinely willing to listen. As a group Charlotte organises various events to raise the awareness around mental health, stamp out bullying and encourage kind behaviour.

    We were delighted to be invited in by Uplands Community College on Time to Talk Day. Our team talked to the Friendly Faces group about the work we do as a charity and the importance of understanding and looking after our mental health. We set the group a challenge to see how many conversations they could initiate, ideally with other students who weren’t in their immediate friendship groups. Charlotte reported back to us that the team had engaged with 115 conversations.

    West Kent Mind applaud Charlotte’s positive approach to challenging the stigma and discrimination many people experience around mental health in a friendly and positive environment. A fantastic advocate and champion for mental health and one we are very proud to be working closely with in conjunction with our MH4 Schools programme.



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    Charlotte Davis-Knowles and Lucy Adams


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