Leading people development organisation in Wales helps hundreds of college students during Pandemic

Meee has completed the pilot FUEL programme in four colleges across Wales – with a 98% success rate.

FUEL was created by Meee, which draws on the best creativity and thinking from the worlds of branding, psychology, neuroscience, education and sociology, to help people achieve extraordinary lives.

The programme has been designed specifically for schools, colleges and universities to help them support students through the most vulnerable first few months of starting at a new educational establishment.

It’s a transformational programme of 10 hours over five weeks with the aim of helping every attendee find their sense of purpose and belonging.

In March 2020, educational organisations across Wales and beyond were required to move from in-person to remote learning provisions. Examinations in 2020 were also cancelled.

The Covid 19 pandemic, and the associated educational crisis has highlighted once more, many of the difficulties faced by young people. Those from disadvantaged backgrounds have most missed the benefit of direct interaction with education and their tutors and are most likely to be on the wrong side of the digital divide. As a result of Covid 19, and the pandemic it is estimated that one in eight young people now have a diagnosable mental health condition, which roughly equates to three children in every tutor group (Source: Young Minds 2021, https://youngminds.org.uk/about-us/reports/coronavirus-impact-on-young-people-with-mental-health-needs/ ).

Within the pilot FUEL programme, Meee worked with 200 students from four colleges in South Wales: Coleg Gwent, St David’s College Cardiff, Merthyr College, and Bridgend College.

With the exception of Cardiff, each college is located within areas of Multiple Deprivation, with Gwent, Merthyr, and Bridgend experiencing significantly higher levels of youth unemployment than the country’s average (WIMD 2020, https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/statistics-and-research/2019-12/welsh-index-multiple-deprivation-2019-technical-report.pdf). 1 in 4 young people within these areas has experienced a mental health challenge, rising to 2 in 4 during the Covid 19 pandemic (Mind 2020). To support these students Meee’s FUEL Programmes are transformational workshops of one- or two-hour sessions over either 5 or 10 weeks with the aim of helping every attendee find their sense of purpose and belonging, through focusing upon improving mindset, wellness, and positive living.

The goals of the course are: To enable young people to understand and believe in themselves and their abilities; to energise young people to personally thrive; to engage them within their community.

Results included:

  • 86% of students felt inspired with a renewed sense of purpose and felt more engaged in their learning
  • A 94.6% positive growth in individual self-perceptions (start/end comparison of the question ‘What one word would you use to describe yourself’)
  • 100% felt that the programme had been of benefit to them
  • 89% indicated that their confidence levels had improved and 82% indicated they now felt their future possibilities had improved
  • 80% of students indicated that they felt encouraged to pursue their dreams, ambitions and aspirations
  • 100% of tutors indicated that they had seen positive improvements in their students’ attitudes.

At the end of the pilot, it was evident from the data that the courses had created

substantial benefits and outcomes for the participants. The data showed a week on week increase in the participants overall sense of wellbeing and happiness, along with a strong indication towards more longer-term outcomes, including an increase in their sense of belonging and identity.

The 10week course is supported by a 12month workbook/journal based on the successful ‘Meee in a Minute’ books and ethos, in addition to Meee’s dedicated FUEL platform which is personalised to each individual.

“I spent most of my early life feeling and being excluded. My life was limited by what others said and thought about me. If I had only had a glimpse then of what I was capable of, my early life would have been very different. A few years ago, I was struck by how many people still felt excluded or limited by the views of others. But we all matter, regardless of who we are, where we live and our path in life. We are all capable of greatness and amazing things. That’s why I founded Meee and why I created this course. Everybody deserves the chance to be the best of themselves.” said Sid Madge, founder of Meee.

“We want to ensure that every person who completes a Meee FUEL course will have clarity about who they are, what is important to them and to have developed their skills. Therefore, leaving with a more sophisticated social and emotional toolkit, they will have the mindset, attitude, skills and self-confidence to know that their start in life does not have to determine where they end up.” said Sid.

“The Meee Fuel Programme has been such a benefit to the pupils in this group. Each of the tutors bring so much energy, positivity and enthusiasm which transferred positively to the students each week. Each session is highly relevant and thought provoking and the manner in which they are delivered despite Covid restrictions ensured maximum involvement and understanding on the part of the young people. The sessions talk about topics that they can relate to, like bullying, depression, anxiety and wellbeing, and they are discussed honestly and openly, talking to them as adults rather than as children.” Said Matthew Todd, Tutor at St David’s College.

“I wanna take away that I can do literally anything with the mind I have. Learning is the most powerful act you can do, and you learn everyday. The more interactions you have, the smarter you become because you’re interacting with ALL different kinds of people of different faiths, beliefs and backgrounds. My attitude is what matters the most, my response shapes me, not other things or people.” (Student 17, from Bridgend College).

“I’ve never felt that I would be any good at anything, but now I feel that I could do anything if I work hard and focus. The course has helped me a lot, and now I feel that I want to go on to University which I didn’t think I would be good enough to do before” (Student 17, St David’s College).

For more information see: https://www.meee.global/meee-fuel-intro.pdf  and https://youtu.be/fQnBe00PIu4

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