Public lecture: Realising Potential
On Thursday 27th February, Dr Jennifer Cumming, director of the SPRINT project, delivered a public lecture at the University of Birmingham. This inspiring event was free to attend. It was open to anyone who wanted to learn more about the MST4Life™ programme.
Who was there?
Taking place in the Old Gym at the University of Birmingham, the lecture hall was packed.
As it was open to everyone, there were lots of different people there. For example:
People with lived experiences of homelessness
Professionals working in the medical field, charity sector and social workers
Members of the public keen to find out more
It was wonderful to see the audience so engaged and asking lots of interesting questions. This proved to be a great opportunity for those attending to share their thoughts and experiences. It also allowed people to ask the questions that were most important to them.
What did we learn about?
The lecture lasted around 1 hour. Dr Cumming outlined issues faced by young people experiencing homelessness and how the mental skills training approaches used with athletes can be used to address these in strengths-based and empowering ways. She also talked about the partnership with St Basils, which led to the co-development of MST4Life™ and process and outcome evaluation of this programme.
Dr Cumming talked about the psychological theory that underpins all of the research we do, for example Psychologically Informed Environments (PIEs).
The audience learned that MST4Life™ is improving outcomes for the over 600 people who have taken part. Dr Cumming shared evaluation data and testimonies from young people who have taken part in the programme and experienced positive results.
We also heard that St Basils staff have been trained to deliver MST4Life™ and the programme is now completely embedded within their service delivery. More recently, learning from the programme has been translated into a new toolkit and delivery guide as well as a story on the Fika app.
Hearing about what matters to those attending
Afterwards, everyone had a chance to meet and talk more informally over drinks and nibbles. This was an excellent opportunity to receive feedback and to talk more about the programme.
People seemed to really enjoy sharing their personal experiences and were enthusiastic about MST4Life™. They also gave their opinions on how this type of work can benefit not just their particular sector, but society more broadly. People told us that they were already using the toolkit or were planning to download it and use it very soon.
It was clear that one of the main benefits of the public lecture was that it attracted people from a variety of sectors. This showed that not only is youth homelessness a topic that matters to many people; but that the MST4Life™ programme has the potential to reach lots of different people and create impact.
Want to find out more? You can download our Mental Skills Training Toolkit and accompanying delivery guide and check out our free resources.
To learn more about youth homelessness in Birmingham, please visit stbasils.org.uk