Wellbeing Programme

Wellbeing Programme: overview

Oarsome Chance has grown remarkably in its first few years of delivering activity programmes to young people who have disengaged from mainstream learning. In that time we have recognised that our successful engagement with young people with complex needs stems from a unique approach to our service delivery.

The initial three-year phase for the Wellbeing Programme (previously called ESP), was launched in September 2020 with the help of funding from the Berkeley Foundation and The Tudor Trust. The programme's aim is to better understand how we can extend our support to the young people we work with, with a focus on supporting their mental health needs. And further, to examine how OC successfully engages with young people and use those findings to inform our development as we grow. The programme will continue to run indefinitely as an essential part of our programme of activities.


Our holistic approach to Wellbeing

A4 Wellbeing poster

The first phase of the Wellbeing Programme's work

Initial research sought to understand what engages young people in education and vocational learning, keeps them involved, motivated and achieving to a point that they are autonomous, confident and capable. Through our current 'Measuring The Good' impact measurement, we know that OC programmes help young people feel more understood, safe and valued. However we are still learning about what engages young people who attend Oarsome Chance and why it is successful in transitioning them back into education or learning.

Young people and staff all provided invaluable contributions to initial research, with feedback collated through observation, interaction, feedback questionnaires and interviews. The goal being to understand what we think is happening, from the point a young person enters the doors at Oarsome Chance until the point at which they leave.

The nine key areas that were collaboratively identified were:

  • Peer leadership
  • Staff Inclusion (attachment and belonging)
  • Education and skills
  • Relationships and social competence
  • Tangible skills – other (sailing, bike mending)
  • Motivation/Aspiration
  • Confidence and self-worth
  • Emotional self-care, well-being, coping strategies
  • Boundaries, self-management

Staff training

Another key aim of the Wellbeing Programme is to enable and support staff who are working with challenging behaviour in young people who may have experienced trauma. A staff training plan has been developed to equip them with an understanding of what may be causing this behaviour and to provide them with a basic skill set to be able to manage safely in challenging situations.

Initial feedback

Below are some examples of what young people and staff have said about Oarsome Chance during initial consultation

Peer leadership – “I feel I have achieved by helping the younger children”

Staff Inclusion – “I have been able to build good relationships with the adults/staff/young people”

Relationships and social competence – “I am much better at getting along with other people”.

Confidence and self-worth – “When I am doing water-sports, I feel that I am competent at something”

Emotional self-care, well-being – “I feel accepted for who I am and it makes me feel good”