News Release: Paralympian, Cancer Survivor and Bounce-Back Mum believe they have the answer to exam stress
For publication / broadcast before 23rd May 2016
SATs Stress: Paralympian, Cancer Survivor and Bounce-Back Mum believe they have the answer
Three entrepreneurs from very different backgrounds have joined forces to improve the mental health of children, helping them reduce stress caused by SATs and other exams. Elizabeth Wright, Jayne Snell and Frederika Roberts have created a primary school programme that teaches children how to be more resilient, look after their overall well-being and achieve success in all areas of their lives. Having launched the programme in September last year, they are appealing to the public to help them get the opportunity to pitch their programme to Richard Branson.
Previously known as ‘Pitch to Rich’, the Virgin Media Business VOOM 2016 competition relies on public votes to shortlist the UK and Ireland’s most exciting entrepreneurs; Triple Paralympic Medallist Elizabeth Wright (36), Double Cancer Survivor and bone marrow donation campaigner Jayne Snell (46), and Laughter Yoga Leader and Happiness Expert Frederika Roberts (44) believe their company ‘RWS | Resilience Wellbeing Success’ offers the solution to a growing problem. Voting will close on 23rd May, after which the top 80 pitches in each of the ‘Start-Up’ and ‘Grow’ categories will go through to a 29-hour ‘Pitchathon’ (a Guinness World Records attempt) and a series of competitive face-to-face workshops, culminating in a big finale where entrepreneurs will pitch to Richard Branson himself.
As part of the VOOM 2016 competition, entrepreneurs are also encouraged to run a Crowdfunder campaign, and those campaigns that reach their fundraising target will also be considered for a Crowdfunder award. The winners and runners-up of VOOM 2016 will receive significant financial, PR/marketing and mentoring support to enable them to rapidly grow their businesses.
Resilience Wellbeing Success co-founder Frederika says: “1 in 10 children aged 5-16 (equivalent to 3 in every classroom) in England has a mental health problem and over half of mental ill health starts before the age of 14. I believe the answer lies in prevention. This is why my colleagues and I have entered VOOM 2016 and need the British public to get behind us in a big way by voting and pledging in order to help us reach more children.”
‘‘Virgin Media Business VOOM 2016 is all about seeking out, supporting and celebrating the UK’s and Ireland’s most exciting businesses. It’s the biggest and most valuable pitch competition out there - we’re hoping everyone will find a way to get involved!’ says Sir Richard Branson.
RWS runs in primary schools for up to 11 weeks and early results from pilot schools show that pupils who have been through the programme are happier, better at focusing on tasks and at overcoming life’s challenges, and have learnt how to set and achieve goals.
In a survey, the RWS programme was rated as ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’ by 100% of teachers, 97% of pupils and 93% of parents. 100% of parents thought more schools should run the RWS programme, 100% of teachers said they would recommend it to other schools and 91% of pupils said they would recommend it to their friends.
Voting for VOOM 2016 is now open at www.bit.ly/RWSVoom
For more information, contact:
Frederika Roberts, email@example.com, t: 07984 806 651
Jayne Snell, firstname.lastname@example.org, t: 07757 699 935
Elizabeth Wright, email@example.com, t: 07532 046 242
Notes for Editors
The RWS programme was developed by Frederika Roberts (The Happiness Speaker), Jayne Snell (Parachute of Dreams) and Elizabeth Wright (The Goal Journey Coach) to bring a combination of inspiration and a practical Resilience, Wellbeing and Success toolkit to pupils, their teachers and their parents, in order to better equip the next generation for the strains and stresses of life and enable them to make the most of what life has to offer.
In developing the programme, Frederika, Jayne and Elizabeth sought advice and feedback from educators and other associated individuals and their programme has been described as being very much needed in schools and as being ‘robust’.
Children's Mental Health Crisis*
- 1 in 10 children aged 5-16 (that's equivalent to 3 in every classroom) in England has a mental health problem
- The number of young people attending A&E because of a psychiatric condition has more than doubled since 2010
- Over half of mental ill health starts before the age of fourteen
- Mental health problems are life-limiting and have been linked to premature mortality, smoking, drinking and drug-taking
- As well as the personal cost, the long-term cost to our economy of mental health problems is estimated at £105bn a year
The good news
According to research, early intervention with social and emotional learning programmes for children has a return on investment of £84 for every £1 spent.
The RWS programme is a social and emotional learning programme and therefore has the potential to have a huge impact on the mental health of young people in the UK.
Children with higher levels of emotional, behavioural, social, and school wellbeing, on average, have higher levels of academic achievement and are more engaged in school, both concurrently and in later years. Children with better emotional wellbeing make more progress in primary school and are more engaged in secondary school.**
*CentreForum Commission on Children and Young People's Mental Health: State of the Nation, Emily Frith, April 2016
** Department for Education: The Impact of Pupil Behaviour and Wellbeing on Educational Outcomes, Leslie Morrison Gutman & John Vorhaus Institute of Education, University of London Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre, November 2012
About Elizabeth Wright
Born with congenital limb deficiency, Elizabeth’s life prospects seemed bleak, but with parents who decided to raise her to be as independent as possible, Elizabeth grew up with a rock solid self-belief and positive attitude to go on and achieve the seemingly impossible.
At the age of 13 she set the massive goal to swim at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games. 3 years later, she competed at her first Paralympic Games in Atlanta, USA, as a member of the Australian National Swim team.
During her Paralympic career, Elizabeth held world records for Butterfly, won countless races, and won three Paralympic Medals: One silver and two bronze.
Since retiring from swimming Elizabeth has gained a 1st class Honours and a Masters degree in Fine Art, has moved to the UK from Australia, started her own business, and now spends her days inspiring others to achieve the seemingly impossible. Elizabeth believes that everything is possible if you’re prepared to bring the right attitude, plan your goal journey and also develop an unreserved self-belief in what you can achieve.
About Frederika Roberts
Both of Frederika’s daughters were born with severe, complex and life-threatening heart conditions. Between them, they have had two cardiac arrests, three open heart surgeries and numerous other hospital stays, both planned and unplanned. Rather than letting these events bring her down or hold her back, Frederika has turned Happiness into a career, in order to inspire others to overcome even the hardest adversity.
Frederika is a Professional Speaker, Author and certified Laughter Yoga Leader.
She inspires her audiences to take action and work on their happiness as a foundation to success, productivity and improved health.
Born in Italy, of dual Italian and German nationalities, Frederika moved to Luxembourg with her parents when she was two years old. She then moved to the UK in 1990 to study at the University of Bradford, where she also met her husband. She now lives in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, with her husband and their daughters Charlotte (18) and Hannah (16).
After obtaining her Business and Management degree, Frederika undertook post-graduate studies in education and became a qualified teacher. Over the years, she has worked in education, recruitment and marketing and has set up and run her own businesses.
Frederika’s clients to date have included the BBC, Greater Manchester Police, schools and charities. She is Immediate Past President of the Yorkshire Region of the Professional Speaking Association of the UK and Ireland (PSA).
About Jayne Snell
Jayne has survived not one, but two forms of blood cancer. Her only chance of survival was to have a bone marrow transplant and Jayne considers herself very lucky as a bone marrow donor was found; a 22 year old young man from Germany. Her transplant took place 6th July 2012 and Jayne’s dream is to one day meet her donor.
During Jayne’s time in hospital she spent a lot of time researching the power of the mind and the mind/body connection. Jayne has certainly tested what she speaks about and now inspires others to take control of their minds and attitudes, to continue to grow and develop themselves to be the healthiest, and best they can be.
Jayne launched her Inspirational Speaking business in 2013, inspiring others to live the life they really want to live, to focus on what is important, to live a life of balance. She speaks in schools, at networking events and corporate days. She inspires and supports others to live the life they really want, to take control of their lives and to work towards achieving a life that is healthy and happy today, and excited for their tomorrows.
‘Anthony Nolan’ is the UK’s largest bone marrow register and a charity Jayne is passionate about. As an Ambassador for Anthony Nolan, Jayne has taken on a number of roles. She is a volunteer Presenter, visiting schools and colleges, educating 16-19 year olds about the importance of donating blood, organs and bone marrow/stem cells. Jayne is also a Donor Visitor for the charity, visiting donors when they are donating their stem cells to say thank you for the amazing thing they are doing. Additionally, Jayne is on the Patient Liaison Panel, advising Anthony Nolan on new initiatives. Jayne will take part in the British Transplant Games this summer as part of the Anthony Nolan team.
‘Delete Blood Cancer’ launched in the UK in February 2013 with a key mission to increase the pool of lifesaving blood stem cell donors. The organisation is part of DKMS (The Foundation for Donating Life), a global family of organisations that started in Germany in 1991 and now the world’s largest stem cell donor centre. Jayne started volunteering for ‘Delete Blood Cancer’ in 2015 and the relationship is continuously growing and developing. In November 2015, Jayne was awarded the Delete Blood Cancer UK Special Award for Outstanding Contribution towards Fundraising. She is also the ‘face’ of the charity, having been featured in an advert aired on national television throughout November and December last year.
Jayne is married to Martin. They have two teenage children, Matthew (20) and Jess (18).
Images (available in high resolution)
Image Captions, top left to right, bottom middle:
Year 4 pupils doing Laughter Yoga
Year 4 pupils writing their goals on their 'Parachute of Dreams'
Year 4 pupils listening intently to Elizabeth Wright
L-R: Jayne Snell, Elizabeth Wright, Frederika Roberts - Co-Founders of the RWS Programme