A volunteering and enrichment programme whereby 16/17 year-olds plan and deliver health and wellbeing workshops to 10/11 year-olds in their local area
Snapshots of CYM 2022-23
How you can get involved
For primary schools
Enquiries about workshops from all Walsall primary schools are warmly welcomed, as are those from further afield. Use the contact form below to see if there is a Change Your Mind hub in your area.
For secondary schools and sixth-form colleges
You too can become a Change Your Mind hub, either by attending a staff-only webinar or by hosting us at your school, where your pupils can be trained directly. Use the contact form below to register your interest and find out more.
Spread the word
If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, please help raise awareness about this unique volunteering and enrichment programme by following us at @QMGS_CYM (Twitter) and qmgs_cym (Instagram).
About Change Your Mind
Change Your Mind is a programme set up by pupils, led by pupils, for pupils, whereby 16/17 year-olds plan and deliver health and wellbeing workshops to 10/11 year-old children in their local area.
It started in November 2016 with four sixth-formers coming to ask if I could support them in a mental health project they were hoping to submit to the national Speakers’ School Council Competition. By the time they had submitted the project the following May, they had gone out into six primary schools to deliver workshops on Digital Detoxing and Transition to Secondary School. We were delighted to be awarded the runners-up prize in the 17-19 age category in the competition, leading to the project even being mentioned by our local MP in the House of Commons.
Since then, it has constantly evolved: the following year, it was run as an extra-curricular activity, then became a timetabled enrichment option for Year 12 (S5/Y13) on Tuesday mornings, expanding into Wednesday afternoons and the occasional Monday and Thursday, such is the demand for our workshops. In the past six years we have worked with half of primary schools in our local area, and as of February 2023 have expanded the programme out to 129 secondary schools and colleges in 82 LEAs in the UK, as well as one international school abroad. In addition, we have appeared on BBC Radio WM, in the local press, won a Walsall Community Award, delivered a presentation at the School and Public Health Nurses’ Association Annual Conference, forged links with other organisations and appeared in the book Just Great Teaching by internationally recognised education author and consultant Ross Morrison-McGill. We have also delivered one of our workshops to Founder of Time to Log Off and digital detoxing expert Tanya Goodin, author of several books on the subject.
So you see, becoming part of Change Your Mind means becoming a part of a growing movement across the country and beyond, working together to help children make the right choices for their wellbeing in a turbulent world.
Change Your Mind blog
Jamie: My CYM Journey So Far
Jamie (left) writes about his experiences on this peer education programme for sixth-formers, where he has worked in the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion sub-team. I still remember my first ever PSHE lesson back in year 7. After a warm and friendly introduction to the curriculum, we made “timeline trees” about our life before secondary school.…
Harry: My CYM Journey So Far
For me, from the moment I discovered the Change Your Mind programme, joining was never out of the question. The opportunity to go out into the local community I grew up in and spread knowledge and skills I wish I had been given when I was in year 6 was something I knew would be…
My CYM Journey So Far
Inshira (third from right) shares her reflections on her experience of the programme now she’s nearly halfway through. My CYM journey has been an experience like no other. I chose CYM as my enrichment option back in September for a number of reasons, but there was one that truly stood out to me: their mission…
More QMGS 2021-22 Pupil Testimonials
See what our pupils have to say about their experience on the programme this year… “Honestly, Change Your Mind has been the highlight of my year. There’s isn’t a doubt that the skills I gained from CYM I wouldn’t have gained anywhere else. It was such a great opportunity, and I honestly loved every second…
QMGS CYM 2021-22 Pupil Testimonials
Now we are coming to the end of the sixth year of Change Your Mind at QMGS, I have invited this year’s team to share their thoughts on what the programme has meant for them: “I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity and the benefits and skills I’ve gained from the programme.”~ Sabeel “I am grateful…
Suchir (CYM 2019-20) reflects on his time in the programme
Originally, as my enrichment option I had selected further maths; however I want to apply for medicine at university and had to consider what the best option for me was, keeping in mind my university aspirations. The CYM programme caught my eye as it was not only linked to mental health but was also a…
“How crucial the work of CYM is”
I was delighted to receive an email a few months ago from Ameen (CYM 2018-19), now a Medicine student at university, which shared the following: “Upon doing some work at university, I stumbled across this article which you may find interesting too: Adversity in childhood is linked to mental and physical health throughout life – https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m3048…
A great week for CYM!
Whilst it is disappointing that the current CYM team, just like last year’s, is being prevented from delivering workshops – even online, now that we are in lockdown – there are still developments going on behind the scene plotting the course of the programme’s story. In this blog post: an update on three positive news…
Katie (CYM 2020-21) shares her early experiences of the programme
Due to the challenges that this year have held, it is undoubtable that the Change Your Mind programme has had to alter a few aspects of the workshops. For my first workshop, I was presenting Digital Detoxing virtually. This concept was initially very daunting as the face-to-face interaction was not available, but it turned out…
Roan shares his experience of CYM so far
In this blog post, Roan (CYM 2020-21) shares his experience of delivering his first workshops, both in-person and virtually. He has been an enthusiastic member of this year’s team right from the start, and has always been passionate about discussing personal, social and health issues. I just knew he would be great for CYM! Having…
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“A really great training day! The pupils really enjoyed the day – it was fantastic to see all pupils getting involved; some really challenged themselves and found the opportunity to do so really rewarding.”
St. Margaret’s School, Bushey, Hertfordshire LEA
“Very enjoyable, active, engaging & positive. Everything was explained very clearly with examples, and the students felt they were talked with, not at. The presentations were revealing & informative.”
West Buckland School, Barnstaple, Devon LEA
“Fantastic! The whole session was very informative and left me enthused and eager to get the programme up & running in our school. I have already had a conversation with a member of SLT about how this could fit in to our Sixth Form personal enrichment pathway programme.”
Dover Grammar School for Girls, Dover, Suffolk LEA
“Really well organised. Very clear delivery and opportunity to ask questions. Sophie’s manner, pace and delivery were spot on. I was able to digest the information and gain useful practical advice.”
The Duchess’ Community High School, Alnwick, Northumberland LEA
“They absolutely loved it and we’ve received some fantastic feedback from the school too! Looking forward to the next session at a different primary school this Friday!”
UTC South Durham, Newton Aycliffe, Durham LEA
“I would highly recommend a visit from the team at Queen Mary’s Grammar School. We were fortunate to have two excellent pupils visit our Year 6 to talk to them about e-safety and social media. The children thoroughly enjoyed the session and it was delivered at an appropriate level for them. We even adopted a new catchphrase for SATs revision based on the session delivered by the boys! The session was well delivered, informative and pacey – a great way to spend an afternoon.”
Barcroft Primary, Willenhall, Walsall LEA
“I would recommend Change Your Mind as I believe that any opportunities for Y6 children to communicate with secondary schools will aid the transition process.”
County Bridge Primary, Walsall LEA