The Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network (@GM_LPN), in partnership with the Association of Colleges (@AoC_info), and funding from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (@GM_HSC), have embarked on a project over the past year to research into and improve Mental Health support for Training Providers, their learners and the employers they work with.

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership

Professor Sandeep Ranote, Interim Greater Manchester Medical Executive Lead for Mental Health

‘It’s impressive to see how learning providers across Greater Manchester were able to adapt and continue to offer training and education throughout the pandemic.

'However, the necessary changes and need to follow coronavirus guidance have been stressful for everyone involved.

'That’s why we welcome the launch of the Mental Health & Wellbeing Toolkit, helping learning providers to offer the best possible support to their staff, students and learners during these challenging times and beyond.’

During the project GMLPN have:

  • Developed a Mental Health & Wellbeing Toolkit aimed at Training Providers, the learners they train and the employers they work with
  • Recruited a network of 27 Mental Health Champions from a range of Training Providers
  • Building on the AoC’s Mental Health Charter for Colleges, developed a Charter for Training Providers and signed up 13 Training Providers as supporters
  • Hosted four Mental Health Professional Exchanges with over 136 attendees in total covering topics such as, digital wellbeing and managing anxiety
  • Facilitated various different training sessions focused on issues such as Employer Good Practice and Mental Health & Change

As part of the Mental Health & Wellbeing Toolkit GMLPN have developed a self-assessment tool for training providers and gathered resources, good news stories and best practice from across the Mental Health Champions group and Mental Health Professional Exchanges attendees over the past year. GMLPN would like to offer gratitude to everyone who has contributed to the development of this toolkit.

Anne Gornall | Executive Director | GMLPN, said:

‘We are excited to launch the Mental Health & Wellbeing Toolkit that we have been developing over the past year. We believe it is a good tool for Training Providers to best support their learners, staff and employers they work with.’

Richard Caulfield | Area Director (NW) and National Lead Mental Health | AoC, said:

‘The Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network toolkit is another resource developed through the important work funded by the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership and delivered through the Association of Colleges. This is part of the Greater Manchester mental health in education programme.

'The toolkit adapts the hugely successful Association of Colleges toolkit for colleges and makes it appropriate for the independent training providers who deliver apprenticeship programmes to the young people of Greater Manchester. 

'It also enables the Greater Manchester mental health in further education colleges programme  to reach all 16-18 year old across Greater Manchester by equipping the education and training organisations with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide appropriate support and signposting for young people struggling with their mental health.

'By using this toolkit independent training providers can identify gaps in their provision, develop and improve how they support employee mental health and celebrate what they do well.  In addition, we are helping deliver on the Greater Manchester Young Persons Guarantee by keeping young people connected, to stay well, and to support transition into the workplace, as well as helping reduce economic inequality across GM.

'We look forward to continuing our work with the Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network toolkit and their members, to increase our reach of the overall programme, and to develop the tools and resources that support the positive mental health and wellbeing of all our young people across Greater Manchester.

'You can find out more about the Greater Manchester Young Persons Guarantee here and the Greater Manchester mental health in further education colleges programme here.’

GMLPN, NYLP and WYLP announce WellFest2021 Speakers 

2nd June 2021: The Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network, North Yorkshire Learning Providers (@NYLP10) and West Yorkshire Learning Providers (WYLP) are excited to announce the speakers of WellFest 2021.

The WellFest virtual conference is aimed at work based learning tutors and practitioners, and will provide them with a virtual ‘get away; day covering not only CPD but also support for positive wellbeing practices, sharing lessons and successes, coping mechanisms for stress, caseload management and overall help to maintain mental wellness.


The following speakers and sessions will take place at WellFest 2021:

  • Health & Food | Louise Mercieca | Award winning author and nutritional therapist who owns the healthkick.
  • Taking steps forward: practical support to prevent mental health crisis | NCFE in partnership with Big Dog Little Dog | Bob Kitchin, Co-Founder at Big Dog Little Dog | Richard Powell, Business Development Manager at NCFE
  • Stephen Mordue, Senior Lecturer, Social Work | University of Sunderland
  • Cognassist
  • Establishing mental fitness in education – how to give your students and staff the mindset to flourish this year | NCFE in partnership with Fika | Dr Fran Longstaff, Head of Psychology at Fika | Dawn Baker, Director of Innovation and Investments at NCFE
  • AoC Mental Health Project | GMLPN
  • Fitness and Wellbeing | Tameside College
  • Digital Wellbeing | Amie Bentley, Apprenticeships Business Development Advisor – Wellbeing Leader Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Managing Anxiety | SallyAnn Coleman, Head of Commercial | Apprentify
  • Mental Health & Apprenticeships - an apprentice perspective | Emma Nolan, GM Apprenticeship

Alex Miles, MD, WNYLP, said:

“WYLP held the first WellFest last year during the pandemic to support our members with their own mental wellbeing & from that success we wanted to make WellFest21 even better, reaching a wider audience so they can benefit from the fantastic speakers & guests we have on offer. We therefore joined forces with our network colleagues across the Pennines to bring this year’s festivities – with GMLPN onboard we know WellFest21 will be a great event and we look forward to seeing you all there”

Anne Gornall, Executive Director, GMLPN, said:

‘It’s great to be working with WYLP and NYLP on WellFest 2021- a festival for Wellness. Mental Health and Wellbeing is priority for us and our members – to support staff and learners - and we are excited to explore some of the mental health challenges and solutions at the conference.’

The conference will take place on Thursday 17th June 2021 from 9:30-15:00.

The Challenge

The coronavirus pandemic has put mental health at the forefront of everyone’s minds and given us all an opportunity to be open about the way in which mental health affects us and those who we work with. 

Mental Health in the Further Education sector is particularly an issue:

At WellFest 2021 we will explore some of the causes and solutions to the mental health challenge within the Further Education sector.

The conference will take place on Thursday 17th June 2021 from 9:30-15:00. To book a place at WellFest 2021 please visit here.

Sponsors: GMLPN, NYLP and WYLP are excited to announce that WellFest 2021 will be sponsored by NCFE, Cache, Big Dog Little Dog, Cognassist, LearnBox and Skills Forward.

GMLPN, NYLP and WYLP launch WellFest 2021 during Mental Health Awareness week 2021

The Greater Manchester Learning Provider Network (GMLPN), North Yorkshire Learning Providers (NYLP) and West Yorkshire Learning Providers (WYLP) were excited to mark Mental Health Awareness Week with the launch of WellFest 2021. Mental Health Awareness week took place from 10th May – 16th May, with the theme of the week being nature and how nature helps mental health and wellbeing.

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