OMC Funded Accessibility Projects – Mindful Families
In line with our charitable aims we support training, activities or initiatives which widen access to, and participation in, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and practices. Our Accessibility Fund grants are given on the expectation of clear impact, outcomes and/or key learnings. Applications to the Accessibility fund are reviewed by Oxford Mindfulness Foundation Board members, OMC staff and external advisers.
Here, we highlight a recent project supported by the accessibility fund.
FUNDED PROJECT: MINDFUL FAMILIES
For mindfulness to be accessible and of benefit to all, regardless of economic or social barriers. For families to practice mindfulness together.
Nineteen schools expressed interest in hosting one of two places on this project via an online form. A key criteria for school selection was the demonstration of participant need. Schools for this project were selected based on individual parent/child mental health needs, a lack of awareness/access to mindfulness training, and general deprivation – one school was selected from one of the most deprived regions of Wales.
Twenty five participants were recruited by the two primary schools to take part in this project. Of the 16 participants from one school, 13 began the project and eight attended regularly (six or more sessions). At another primary school, nine participants were recruited, seven started the course and four attended regularly. Consequently 60% of participants who started the courses attended regularly.
This project delivered eight-session mindfulness courses for parents in two schools, followed by four-session ‘Mindful Play’ courses for the children to attend with their parents. The parent sessions were generally 90 minutes in length and based on the ‘.b Foundations’ course. This was chosen for continuity with training received by teachers in these schools, but delivery was also influenced by the ‘Nurturing Parents’ specialist mindfulness course for parents. The ‘Mindful Play’ course, created by Mindful Families, included four, hour-long sessions principally for children aged three-seven years old. In this case it was adapted for a wider age range involved in this project. This course is designed to facilitate parent/child connection through fun and engaging activities – to provide parents and children with a positive association with mindfulness and plenty of short and practical activities to try together, and independently.
Pre and post questionnaires were collected to measure the impacts of the programme for participant wellbeing. These included demographic information, quantitative wellbeing data and qualitative questions regarding general experience on the course, knowledge/understanding and regularity of practise going forward. In addition, a focus group with parents and children was conducted, 1-1 interviews with a parents, and a testimonial was submitted by a school staff member.
Of those surveyed, 88% of participants indicated a meaningful positive change on the Warwick Edinburgh Wellbeing Scale which indicates an increase in the group’s sense of mental wellbeing.
All participants indicated that they agreed or strongly agreed that they understand the benefits of practising mindfulness, that they feel they know techniques for practising mindfulness at home, and that they want to keep practising mindfulness after the course has finished.
Parents also indicated that they feel confident to practise mindfulness with their child at home (88% agreed or strongly agreed) and all parents stated at the end of the course that they practise mindfulness with their children (68% stated at least once a week), compared to 13% practising mindfulness with their children prior to the course.
To read more about projects supported by the accessibility fund, please visit: https://www.oxfordmindfulness.org/about-us/about/charitable-activities/2018-accessibility-fund/