Switzerland born and raised student Jason Crosswaite moved to the UK to study for his undergraduate degree in Sports Development and Management in 2014. In his final year, Jason completed his placement in a sport-related field, and he chose to do this on Tackling the Blues. Jason volunteered on the programme ever since his first year when it was first initiated in January 2015.
“Our initial role was to help develop a new programme targeting children and young people, aged 6-16-years-old, with, or at risk of developing, mental health disorders. I acted as a coach and peer mentor in a local school and a young carers’ group, whereby I contributed to the delivery of both physical activity and classroom sessions. This was very rewarding, as the impact that we made was growing noticeably on a weekly basis and, as a result, I continued this role throughout my second year.”
Jason furthered his participation in the programme by undertaking his final year compulsory placement within it, which gave him greater insight into how the programme is being managed and implemented into the community.
“I was intrigued to understand the running and implementation processes of the scheme further, whilst also being able to bring forward my experiences from second year. Jon Jones, head of the project, offered me this opportunity by asking me to develop session templates for future volunteers, interview teachers at the celebratory event at Edge Hill University’s facilities, as well as beginning discussions on the creation of a new impact report for both internal and external use. These new opportunities have allowed me to put into practice the valuable skills that I have acquired since joining Edge Hill University in 2014, in a real life setting.”
Tackling the Blues allows students the opportunity to put their learning into practice and develop their skills which will help them greatly when they enter the highly competitive job market, as well as offering rewarding experiences working with children and young people.
“Being involved on this project has benefited me greatly in many ways, including, among others, improving my confidence to step outside of my comfort zone and speak in front of large audiences. I feel that my involvement on the project has offered me valuable experience that I will be able to put to good use in my future career.”…”Seeing the impact you have on the participating children is very rewarding.”
The programme was awarded the ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community’ award at the prestigious Times Higher Education Awards 2016 hosted in London.