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School pastoral lead awarded CRN Greater Manchester Certificate of Achievement

A pastoral lead who ensured children at her school were able to be part of research to help them cope with anxiety has been awarded the CRN Greater Manchester Certificate of Achievement. 

The certificate is presented to selected teams and individuals who have made a valuable contribution to the delivery of health and care research in Greater Manchester, East Cheshire or East Lancashire.

Contributions recognised by the certificate can be for work carried out in traditional healthcare settings such as hospitals or primary care, or in non-NHS settings out in the wider community.

Sandra Russell was nominated for her outstanding work in supporting research at All Saints Catholic Primary School, Golborne, where she is the Pastoral and Safeguarding Lead. 

The school was among several in the Wigan and Bolton areas which took part in the ‘Lumi Nova: Tales of Courage’ study, which has involved giving children aged seven to 12 access to a mobile phone game which enables them to self-manage their worries over current and potential future events. 

Thanks to Mrs Russell, 16 children at All Saints took part in the study as she went above and beyond to get consent from parents, complete referral forms and support with the running of a workshop. Mrs Russell was also very proactive in following up on pupils’ progress and, overall, the successful delivery of the study at the school would not have been possible without her invaluable contribution.

Wendy Hughes, Headteacher at All Saints Catholic Primary School, said:

“Sandra is absolutely brilliant and a pivotal member of our staff team. She works tirelessly to support the wellbeing of all within our school community and wants the very best for our families and children. We are lucky to have her in our All Saints family and are delighted she has received this recognition for her hard work on the Lumi Nova study.”

The Lumi Nova study has been delivered locally in partnership with Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust. It is designed to help address the fact that one-in-six children will experience some form of an anxiety condition growing up. However, there are often limited treatment or support options available where a child does not meet the high-risk threshold. 

Over 80 children in Greater Manchester have been part of this study, which is based on ‘exposure therapy’. This involves setting goals, breaking down fears into manageable steps and attempting to overcome them in a gradual way to build confidence and manage anxiety. Young people reported positive experiences and developers hope the game will soon be available through GPs and schools.