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Stormbreak (UK wide)

Stormbreak CIO supports children’s mental and physical health by delivering preventative training programmes for trusted adults helping them to embed mentally healthy movement for children they live with, work with or care for. These programmes help raise awareness and generate dialogue around mental health through movement, help children recognise, respond and regulate their thoughts and emotions to help them flourish now and the future.
Through their digital platform supported by BBC Children in Need; A Million and Me (www.stormbreak.org.uk) stormbreak offers a free of charge remote digital participation tool for trusted adults to help children to participate in stormbreak activities and follow a stormbreak journey.
Dr Martin Yelling is the founder and CEO of stormbreak, a lifelong runner, author and coach and advocate of moving for mental health in adults and children. In this blog Martin talks about the importance of teaching children how connecting to nature through movement can be a strategy to support and develop their emotional wellbeing.

Ever since I was 7 I’ve run. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of running along the cliff top along the Jurassic Coast being truly connected to and immersed in the landscape surrounding you. Being outside and moving in nature has allowed me to push boundaries, explore limits, find excitement, feel the elements, have adventures, be social with friends, discover and build connections with my surroundings, develop a sense of belonging and respect for the outdoors, build an environmental awareness, sensitivity and responsibility, escape the pace of life, find solitude, comfort and joy.

An example of a nature focused Stormbreak video

Connecting with our natural environment and moving in and with nature offers us so much with significant potential to benefit our mental and physical health. I believe the outdoors can support our children too, and as adults learning to connect with our environment and natural surroundings, whether local, small pockets of urban green space, playgrounds, parks, woodlands, rivers or countryside conservation areas, larger areas of natural beauty or National Park landscapes, we have a responsibility to protect these spaces and show our future generations how living with them can help them cope, flourish and thrive.

For children being in nature has incredible benefits to children’s mental and physical wellbeing. It provides a rich and vibrant environment, a sense of awe and wonder and opportunities for enriched activity enhanced by the physical space, the colours, patterns and the interaction with the natural world. Nature gives them the opportunity to connect with others through play, imagination and free movement whilst chatting through thoughts and feelings.

Headteacher Dave McPartlin talks about why he brought Stormbreak into his school

In some of our programmes in schools and families we’ve seen examples of stormbreak ‘natures moves’ (developed with support from the National Trust in Dorset) being used by teachers and parents to help children explore and repair relationships, learn to regulate their emotion, deal with fear and frustration and also boost their self worth and help them feel like they matter more. For a foster family with a young child with alopecia taking their hood down for the first time in public, surrounded the trees and woodland is a first step to being braver in public and having the confidence to look up as themselves in the wider world.

Join with us to celebrate nature through our stormbreak nature pathway (below and at www.stormbreak.org.uk/nature) and connect through movement with our senses, our environment and the natural world around us

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