Since the beginning of 2019, over 700 children and adults in Bude, North Cornwall have experienced the magic of a Relax Kids Class / Workshop with Sophie. The classes empower all ages to manage their own mental health by understanding about how the brain works, hints and tips for creating a calmer mind, positive thinking, developing resilience and promoting the importance of emotional health and wellbeing. The classes look at understanding a range of emotions through stories, crafts, playing games, stretches, self and peer massage, learning breathing techniques, developing self-esteem and confidence.
Originally a primary school teacher for twelve years, Sophie trained to be Relax Kids Coach in May 2017 as she had identified that more children and families were struggling with their mental health and wellbeing. Relax Kids was created in 2000 by Marneta Viegas and since then over 4000 people have trained to be Relax Kids Coaches in 45 counties around the world. Each of the classes follow the 7 Steps to Relaxation – Move, Play, Stretch, Feel, Breathe, Believe and Relax.
A variety of different classes have taken place in pre-schools and schools in the Bude area with family workshops running during the school holidays along with sessions for parents and staff at one school. Bude Primary Academy and Stratton Primary School have both recognised the importance of children’s mental health and wellbeing and some of their children have experienced the Relax Kids classes. The children have said “Relax Kids makes me feel relaxed and helps me by giving me solutions for my anxiety”, “it was amazing … I loved it and I am very grateful to come … I think a lot of people would like to join!” In addition to the sessions each school had a Grow Your Mind display near their hall which was changed weekly with different positive affirmations, I am unique, I am brave etc, a Question of the Week and Tip of the Week and a mindful activity to take away for the children. The children have also been presented with a Relax Kids Tool Box at the end of the classes which means they can continue to practice and build on what they have learnt.
Sophie says that “these classes are invaluable for all children, staff and parents in schools and the feedback from North Cornwall and South Devon where I previously lived has been incredible. Thankfully, the recent conversations around mental health in the media mean that it’s now okay to admit that you struggle at times and learning the essential skills for life from Relax Kids Classes is vital for everyone.”
In the autumn, along with more Family Workshops and classes in schools, Relax Kids North Cornwall will be supporting the Reflect Arts and Minds Project weekend on 4th-6th October in Bude (www.reflectaamp.org) looking at the connections between living by the sea and mental health. Sophie is planning on running free workshops within local schools to help create art work which represents the links between the sea, positive thinking and emotional health and wellbeing.