Mindfulness is helping young disabled people in Manchester

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Everyday life can be a struggle at the best of times, and sometimes we have to build our resilience to overcome these challenges.

Thanks to disabled children’s charity Whizz-Kidz and funding from the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, a group of teenage wheelchair users from the Lancasterian School in Manchester, which caters for children and young people with complex needs, took time out from their typical classes to explore the concept of coping with challenges by practicing mindfulness and self-compassion.

Ali Hall, Young Leader programme manager, said: “It’s a real privilege to introduce young people to these mindfulness practices and to work with them on developing self-compassion. Supporting them in looking after their mental health is so important and central to our work. Mindfulness can be an essential tool to help them when dealing with various challenges, especially those that make the life of a disabled young person that bit harder.

“Giving them permission to treat themselves as they would a good friend when they were feeling overwhelmed or low was a completely new concept to many of them so it was great to see them take it on board and try to be kinder and more caring towards themselves whenever they were struggling.

“The success of this programme owes huge thanks to the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery whose vital funding allows us to support these invaluable projects supporting disabled young people when they need it the most.”

The session, as part of the Whizz-Kidz Young Leaders programme, focused on resilience, self-compassion and how to adapt when things do not turn out as planned. The young people were able to talk about their emotions and how to respond to themselves when they feel sad, worried, or anxious, as teenagers often do when the challenges of everyday life get on top of them.

The Young Leaders Programme aims to deliver training to disabled young people across the UK to help them recognise and build on their leadership skills. Whizz-Kidz has been supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery since 2013 and, to date, they have generously awarded more than £750,000 to support the charity’s work across the UK.

Whizz-Kidz has transformed the lives of over 20,000 disabled children and young people since 1990 – often, literally overnight. It supports 2-25 year-olds by providing the vital mobility equipment, support and life skills they need, to help them fulfil their potential and achieve their goals. 

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