Building Resilience

Group Work

The YMCA has eight years of experience and expertise in designing and implementing robust, evidence-based
group work programmes. We have designed separate group-work modules for KS1-4, and a Transitions module for Yr6 and Yr7, which have been built based on feedback from schools and partners, as being the most
valuable areas for attention. Each group work module is 6 weeks in duration – with one session per week, lasting for approximately one hour. Up to two Interventions Workers will facilitate each session depending on numbers and needs. Evidence-based outcome assessments are used to monitor the impact made.


Areas of Focus

During our group work sessions we focus on four main areas:

Emotional Management is a skill, and breakdowns in communication and wellbeing can lead to impaired development of this area.

Social Skills is a small term for an enormous concept. Each young person will have strengths and challenges in this area. Alienation in some or all areas of their social life will impact on all things from performance in classes to level of exercise.

Self Esteem & Confidence is a crucial ingredient in child & adolescent development. Without this, a series of psychological defence mechanisms can produce pervasive problems, lasting into adulthood.

Transitions is a programme that focuses on the seismic shift from Primary to Secondary school. We realise some young people find this a challenge, and require help to cope with this change. It provides techniques for forming new friendships as well as coping mechanisms, which will improve resilience for future use in all contexts.


Additional Options for Secondary Schools

Secondary settings with KS4 or 5 pupils may want to consider choosing our health and well-being qualifications as a way of providing academic outcomes alongside learning. Please click here for more information.

In addition, we also have a tailored building resilience programme for KS3-5 students covering the following areas: Introduction to Mental Health, Food and Mood, Coping with Stress, Body Confidence and Self Esteem, Self-Help. This can be used as a wider programme for all students, or targeted to those with low level needs.


Structure of Group Work

Each Group Work module involves:

• Pre intervention assessment with the school and/or young people (1 credit)
• Min. 6 weeks of 50min-1hr interventions for up to 8 young people*
• Post intervention review session (1 credit) to discuss progress and next steps
• Total cost of 1.5 credits per session per worker (two required for most groups)
• A structured syllabus of topics covered, tailored to the age and needs of the group
• Impact monitoring and tools for schools to help assess suitability prior to intervention
• Option to use additional credits for more sessions, 1 to1 Mentoring or Therapy where a young person needs additional support or time to reach outcomes.
• Total: Min. 11 credits (one worker); 20 Credits (two workers)


*Please note that group work is focussed on early intervention. It is not suitable for those with high needs or a history of mental health issues. In this instance, therapy should be considered. One worker will only be suitable for groups of 4 or less that have mild to moderate needs. The assessment will establish need.




In some cases, a young person may not require intensive therapeutic intervention, but continue to present signs and symptoms of personal issues that cause you concern. These might be issues that you feel, if left unresolved, could exacerbate over time. The young person may not be suitable for group work, or you feel that the group work modules on offer would not address the very specific issues you have noticed. Alternatively, it can also be used as a way of topping up group work sessions for those that need a little extra support.

The Process works as follows:

Structure of Mentoring:

• Minimum of 8 sessions of 50min-1hr on a 1 to 1 basis (assessment is built into the initial sessions)
• Post intervention review session to discuss progress and next steps
• One worker per young person
• A semi-structured programme designed specifically around the needs of the young person
• Impact monitoring using the Outcomes-based Assessment & Planning tool
• 1 Credit per session
Total: Min 9 Credits per referral



Family Support

The family unit is regarded as one of the most important and pivotal ingredients in the development of healthy
emotional well-being in young people. Fraught with complications and difficulties, the family environment can be
a context for emotional friction that manifests in all other areas of a young persons life.

Working under a similar model to the Mentoring Service, Family Work operates alongside families in a relaxed,
cooperative and non-judgemental way.

Utilising cognitive, behavioural and Resource-based therapeutic models, families are supported to work more closely, understand each other, and create mutually positive systems and structures.

Designed for families not in receipt of higher threshold interventions, but for those who without intervention could find their circumstances deteriorating beyond control. This is ideal for families wishing to improve their relationships, lifestyle and overall family environment.


Structure of Family Support:

• Min. 8 sessions of 1-2hrs each (assessment is built into the initial sessions)
• Post intervention review session with the school to discuss progress and next steps
• One worker per family (large families may require an additional worker to be purchased)
• A semi-structured syllabus designed specifically around the needs of the family
• Impact monitoring using the Outcomes based assessment & planning tool
• 1.5 credits per session (some sessions may require several hours of intervention, specifically work in the home)
• 1-2 credits per review session
• Flexible working arrangements – including weekends and evenings, 1to1, or group sessions as mutually agreed
• Option to run alongside 1to1 Mentoring
• Total: Min 13 Credits (based on one hour sessions)