Mental Health Nurse Sue Altass and Social Worker Hannah Cheshire Stood At Hull Marina

Inspire Ignite was founded in 2014 by Mental Health Nurse Sue Altass and Social Worker Hannah Cheshire, with the aim of making a real difference to the mental health and wellbeing of young people. 

They work with primary and secondary age children to encourage personal development, confidence and self-esteem. They offer programs that schools and colleges use for all children and young people, to help them understand what makes them tick and learn how to make choices that have a positive impact on their well-being and the students future. They also have a range of resources for parents to use at home. 
Mental health and wellbeing in children have become more important than ever since the coronavirus pandemic. A lot of children have been off school and not at their usual classes and clubs now since 20th March, even for those who are back in school it is a very different experience. By the time they are back in September, it will be nearly 6 months out of routine and a long time without socialising and interacting with their peers. 
positive parrot negative newtGoing back is going to be very difficult for a lot of children and they may need some extra help. Inspire Ignite have written 8 books designed to help primary age children with their mental health and wellbeing, based around their positive parrot and negative newt characters. Using their many years of experience with children’s mental health, Sue and Hannah wrote the books to try and reach and help more young people. Now is a great time to read the books with your children, discuss the content and questions, and help to prepare them emotionally for going back to school. 
Inspire Ignite sent Mumbler a pack of books to read, here’s what I thought… 
inspire igniteThe books are beautifully illustrated and a perfect length for reading with children. There are 8 short stories to read, each with activities and questions at the end to start a conversation with your child about what they’ve read. 
Each book has a theme; in the first one, Choices, Positive Parrot meets Negative Newt and the parrot shows him that it’s how you look at things that affect how positively or negatively you feel about them, you have a choice as to how you feel about situations. As the books develop the newt does become more confident, happier and comfortable with himself and they cover lots of different topics that can have an impact on how your child feels. There is also an audiobook of the stories which we played on a long car journey! 
We had some really good chats about them, talking about situations they’ve been in before and how they could have looked at them differently. We never sit down and just talk about our feelings and what worries us and it was a really useful thing to do. My eldest at 9 was a perfect age to really understand the meanings of the stories and relate it to his life, my youngest at 6 enjoyed the stories and I do think it’s made her think more about her emotions. We’ll come back and revisit some of the books if we have a situation that they can help. My 9-year-old has been off school since March and my 6-year-old has had just 6 days back in year 1 before the summer break so I think we will definitely be using the wisdom of Positive Parrot as we approach the September return. 
Books are priced at just £14.99 for the set of 8. They also have lots of free downloadable resources around their characters Positive Parrot and Negative newt, and ideas to use at home with young children at the moment. You can buy books or download the resources for free on their website here
For more information email Sue or visit their website. 
Inspire Ignite also go into schools to deliver mental health and wellbeing training, if your school is interested to book a settling back in session with Sue or Hannah email 
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