Blue Smile - building happier childhoods
“When you’re feeling unhappy, they let you burst out your feelings and everything.”
Child at Orchard Park
Through counselling and mentoring children struggling with emotional difficulties, Blue Smile works to make a lasting difference to their lives by giving them the experience of being understood and valued.
"When I heard about Blue Smile I immediately wanted to know how I could help. It's one of those charities which, if it didn't exist, would need to be invented. To leave a child who is struggling with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and not intervene to help that child, would be unethical and a waste of that child's precious potential. Thank goodness Blue Smile does not just stand by, but rushes in to help such children, boosting their self-esteem through nurturing trust and self-confidence."
Simon Baron-Cohen, Professor of Developmental Psychopathology, Director, Autism Research Centre (ARC) and Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge
Blue Smile have received three grants through CCF.
In 2012 grants were awarded by the Seymour Charitable Fund and the Ridgeons Community Fund to contribute towards costs of providing comprehensive pastoral and therapeutic services in a school in Arbury for one year.
Arbury School is in an area of deprivation and disadvantaged children are four times more likely to develop a mental health problem. Research shows that intensive, long-term therapy and mentoring can mitigate these disadvantages and improve a child's abitur to settle in school and access learning.
"All in all, I love Blue Smile!" - Link teacher at Arbury School)
In 2014 a grant was awarded by the Outlook Fund towards mentoring support for 3 children at the Grove School over the Summer and Autumn Terms.
Ethan was a 7 year old boy referred to Blue Smile because he lashed out ‘randomly’ at peers, found it impossible to concentrate in class – and never smiled. His Blue Smile therapist found a little boy who made no eye contact and sat on his own creating battles with toys. Bit by bit, she conveyed she understood his embattled world, so he was able to let her know he sometimes stayed off school to ‘guard his Mum’ from violence at home.
To be understood was transformative for Ethan. He began to make friends and to settle in class. Blue Smile’s regular and sensitive contact with his parents also meant they too began to trust enough to accept family support from another agency.
On all measures, Ethan made rapid and significant improvements, but he himself was clear about how Blue Smile helped:
‘When you’re feeling unhappy, they let you burst out your feelings and everything. They turn things wrong into good things.’