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WHAT IS ACTIVE MINDS?

Active Minds is a ‘physically active learning’ educational program focused on three key areas:

  • Mental Health and Building Emotional Resilience,
  • Diabetes Awareness
  • Nutrition and Healthy Eating

Our programme is specifically designed to raise awareness of critical areas of health and well being. Using our many years of experience of working in schools and teaching young children, and in partnership with leading professionals in various fields we have produced a ground breaking collection of programmes that we feel will better prepare the next generation to live long, healthy, happy and active lives.

MEET THE AUTHORS

Andy Beeston, AJB Sports in Education

Andy is the owner and founder of AJB Sports in Education and has worked in youth sport and education for the past 17 years. AJB Sports in Education are a Multi Sport Coaching organisation who work with primary schools to advance and develop skills in physical education. They work closely with schools to design, create and deliver PPA and PE lessons. The company also supports teachers through progressive CPD sessions and by providing schemes of work and session plans to further their knowledge in the delivery of physical education. The company also work with colleges and universities to offer students exclusive learning opportunities and experiences within various aspects of the company.

Andy completed his Sports Coaching Degree at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff in 2006 before progressing onto his initial work within primary schools. However, he decided to broaden his horizons at this stage and moved to America in 2007, living in the states for 8 years and developing himself as a coach. Andy gained his US national coaching qualifications and worked in a variety of soccer (football) coaching roles as he progressively earned more experience. These included; Soccer Coach, U8 Academy Director, Staff Development Manager and Elite Player Development Director during his time on the East coast.

Since returning to the UK in 2015, Andy has diligently continued his own professional development as a coach through the PE in School Sports qualification, and has gained multiple professional qualifications in a number of
sports. He has also formed close partnerships with the Worcestershire FA and Badminton England, leading to programmes being delivered in conjunction with both organisations. Andy believes in using sport to teach more than just technical skill, but that it can also provide a platform for personal development and growth. Andy uses his coaching philosophy to encourage children’s creativity and help to develop life skills that are used long after they leave the classroom. This philosophy extends to developing problem-solving, teamwork and communication skills through sports, which can set children up for their futures. In today’s session the children may be designing their own game or reacting to the another teams tactics but tomorrow this set of skills may be used in a company boardroom to solve any number of interpersonal problems.

James Prentice, AJB Sports in Education

Jimmy came on board as a partner at AJB Sports in Education in 2018 with the aim to help founder, Andy Beeston, grow the business and develop programs that promote their shared love of sport and physical education to school children. He has worked in the education sector since graduating from Gloucestershire University in 2007, with a degree in Sports and Exercise Science, and has since covered various physical education and learning areas including: sports coaching, student mentoring, EFL lecturing and career progression. 

During this time, Jimmy has continued his professional development and education by gaining coaching qualifications in football, futsal, multi-sports, badminton and a masters in teaching English as a foreign language. Like many people, the forced lockdown during 2020 provided Jimmy with the chance to further develop his passion for nutrition and healthy eating and enhance his knowledge in the area. Subsequently, he spent the time (among various other projects) gaining a distinction for a Diploma in Sports Nutrition. It is with this knowledge, alongside his University degree which heavily leaned into Sports Nutrition, which helped develop the materials for the Active Minds Nutrition and Healthy Eating program. 

Jimmy has always shared AJB Sports in Education’s vision for physical education and holds the same values for using sport as a way to help children grow, learn and develop holistically. He is motivated, experienced and passionate about both sport and coaching children to help them reach their full potential in school and throughout their lives. 

Chris Bright, The Diabetes Football Community

Chris Bright is the Founder as well as a Director for The Diabetes Football Community C.I.C, a not for profit organisation designed to support people passionate about Football affected by Diabetes. The Diabetes Football Community aims to provide peer support, education for those with the condition as well as education for those coaching, teaching and managing people living with Diabetes, whilst also developing participatory opportunities for those with Diabetes to experience football and futsal together.

Chris completed his degree in Sports Studies at the University of Worcester in 2012 and has subsequently completed his master’s degree in Socio-Cultural studies in Sport and Exercise in 2020 from the same university. Chris has worked in a commercial business for 5 years in analytics and trading, but his passion has always been for sport, and particularly football. Chris has played football on a part time basis for over 10 years and represented the Wales National Futsal team across Europe since 2016. In doing this, Chris became the first person living with type 1 Diabetes to represent a mainstream national futsal team from the UK. This has seen Chris go on to delivering lectures at universities across the country to raise awareness of Diabetes. These efforts and expertise were subsequently recognised with an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Worcester and with the People’s Award from the Quality in Care Diabetes programme in 2021.

By combining Chris’ knowledge of living with type 1 Diabetes together with his work as a health and wellbeing coach on the NHS type 2 Diabetes prevention programme, Chris is able to use his expertise around the condition, as well as sport, to help educate, support and impact upon the provision that is available to those with the condition. Chris believes that sport can be a powerful tool for wider societal change and his work with The Diabetes Football Community, and projects outside of it, demonstrates his willingness to try and influence the perceptions of diabetes and chronic illness to increase awareness, dispel stigma and advocate for greater support for those living with long term illnesses.

For more information on the Diabetes Football Community please visit here

Gemma-Jayne Morgan, About Mental Health Limited

Active Minds approached Gemma after completing firstly their half day and then subsequently their full Youth Mental Health First Aider qualifications (which we highly recommend) with her as the lead deliverer on the course. Gemma became a consultant on the Active Minds Mental Health and Emotional Resilience program providing invaluable knowledge and feedback to the program and helped to create our bespoke pre and post questionnaire and Theory of Change

Gemma has worked in the mental health and well-being field for over 22 years and is passionate about training and helping others to know how to support other people (children, young people and adults) who may be experiencing difficulties with their mental health and/or emotional well-being.

Gemma started out studying her Psychology degree at The University of Birmingham. During her degree she was particularly interested in neuropsychology, attachment, child development and counselling psychology. From here she went on to train as a fully qualified counsellor and is now registered with the BACP.

After her studies  she went to work for a charity as an emotional behavioural counsellor supporting children/young people and their families in schools and later became a Director of a community Interest Company working in Birmingham delivering the same interventions. Here she offered therapeutic support and interventions to vulnerable children and their families. The services were delivered primarily in schools and also in the family home and community settings where she worked with the whole family to improve emotional well-being for all.  As a result of this, Gemma came across many young people and adults who were experiencing difficulties with their mental health and as such has had first hand experience working with every mental health diagnosis and understanding how professional mental health services are implemented for young people and adults.

In the later years of her career, at the company, she went on to deliver clinical supervision to staff and also to school staff and other professionals working to support young people and vulnerable adults. She was responsible for managing all aspects of training for the organisation and also emotional health workshops for young people in schools. Gemma is an accredited instructor with MHFA England for both the Youth and Adult courses.

After 15 years of working for the community interest company,  Gemma decided to become a freelance trainer, counsellor and mental health and well-being consultant working for herself. She now also researches and writes her own bespoke training programmes and works with organisations to embed best mental health practices through developing systems, strategies and policies for them.

Gemma also has extensive experience in the bereavement field after volunteering for 5 years at one charity and then being a founder member of another in the Dudley borough for many years. During this time she supported many families experiencing complicated grief and worked to reduce isolation for them.

Gemma’s passion stems from her own personal experiences as a child growing up with mental health issues within her home. She will always draw upon her own experiences, both personal and professional when training or offering support to organisations, schools or individuals who are in need of her help. Embedding learning in real-life experiences can really bring understanding to life.

For more information on what About Mental Health Limited offer please visit here

Looking for a PHYSICALLY ACTIVE health program your educators can deliver that works towards OFSTED and RSE curriculum targets?
Look no further...

– Diabetes Awareness
– Mental health and emotional resilience
– Nutrition and Healthy Eating

Check it out today