Introduction to activity on referral programme for children and young people

Activity on referral is a supportive programme that links young people to local activities to support their mental health.

Nicky Harverson

20 Oct 2021

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What is activity on referral?


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Activity on referral within schools is a supportive programme that links young people to local, community based activities that we know will support their mental health.


Our referral programme is focused on working with Young Minds Matter and Mental Health leads in Gloucestershire's schools. We offer a variety of activities, run by trusted providers who will support a young person to take part in an activity. These sessions are part of regular clubs and activity programmes with trained coaches delivering fun and inclusive sessions, encouraging friendship and helping promote a positive frame of mind.


Each person referred in will have a conversation, with a member of the the school team, an activity on referral coach and their parents/careers, about their preferred choice of activity and an opportunity to discuss any barriers they have to accessing or starting the programme. Sessions are free for the first 12 weeks but following this the young person can choose to stay with the activity provider and sign up to become a paying member.


Our aim is to facilitate activity to support wellbeing, if at any point this is not being fulfilled for the young person, you can refer back into the school and/or the Young Minds Matter team or to Active Gloucestershire.

Which students are eligible?

Students experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues in school, where being active would greatly support their wellbeing.


Activity is one of the 5 ways to well-being and this programme taps into that first and foremost. Yet it is also designed to facilitate two other elements, ‘learn’ and ‘connection’ as we know activity clubs and groups are a good place to do this.


A young person doesn't need to be active already or even have a focus on being active. The sessions we offer range in intensity and skill with full coaching and instruction given by the activity providers. Our ethos is that exercise should be fun and a choice, not a chore.

How do we support young people?

Each young person with their parent or career will connect with an activity on referral coach. Your coach will support you through the process and is a great place to talk through any concerns or issues you may have about getting started or even continuing with the programme. Your coach is there to navigate the programme and hold you through the process, but they are not therapists or councillors. If at any point we feel there is more support required we will talk through the options to refer back into Young Minds Matter.


Activity providers will support the young person by welcoming them to the sessions and providing all the information needed for them to join. They will encourage and support a young person to take part, whilst ensuring there is no judgement or pressure for them to perform in any particular way.


Our activity providers are fully qualified and insured to deliver their activity and hold a range of qualifications or can ‘support through experience’ a young people with mild to moderate mental health issues.


Activity is funded for the first 12 weeks of any programme, after that time it is down to the activity provider to share with the young person and their parent/career their weekly session costs and how to pay.


Bursaries are also available to support parents in buying equipment or clothing in order to attend sessions.

Confidence in trusted providers

Our activity providers are fully qualified and insured to deliver their activity and hold a range of qualifications. They can also support young people with mild to moderate mental health issues through experience.


We expect providers to have the following in place and without it they are unable to sit on our trusted list. We regularly check these documents are up to date and ensure we visit providers periodically to observe their sessions.


  • UKCC qualified to Level 2 or above, or equivalent activity qualification for the activity you run
  • Valid safeguarding certificate where working with U18 or vulnerable adult groups
  • Evidence of attendance at a First Aid training course within the last 3 years to include basic life support.
  • Insurance cover including public liability (public liability insurance for the activity not less than £5,000,000.00)
  • Enhanced DBS certificate issued within the last 3 years where working with U18 or vulnerable adult groups or the ability to obtain one prior to any referral.
  • Have experience and/or qualification that support working with young people who experience mild to moderate mental health issues
  • Schedule regular sessions that are available for children within the age group we are targeting (at least 30 sessions a year)

We know that not every activity on offer will be the right fit for a young person, so we work closely with them to find what they love to do and encourage them to do more of it.


Your support as a school involved in this programme is essential. Please provide any general feedback to Active Gloucestershire using the following email address:


If you feel there is a more specific issue related to safeguarding of a young person then you should follow this process

  • Safeguarding process and link to support parents and careers for any issues

How do you get started?

Young people can be referred into this programme from any trailblazer school. Referrals will typically come from a teacher or support worker at the school or via the Young Minds Matter team.

The referral form can be accessed using the link below:

Following the completion of this form an activity on referral coach will be assigned and they will contact both the referrer and the parent/career to begin the referral process.


Conversations will be scheduled to investigate what activity is available and when selected a formal invitation is made between the young person and the activity provider.


From this point it sits with the activity provider and parents/career of the young person to arrange the first session. If further support is needed to do this then your activity on referral coach will be on hand to facilitate.


The young person can come back to the activity on referral coach at any time to discuss the programme and may be asked at the end of the programme to provide feedback.


If a young person enjoys the sessions and wishes to stay after the 12 weeks then we encourage you to explore how to continue and become a full member at the club or activity session. This will be at a cost to the parent/career from this point and providers will share this with parents as they enquire.

Explore options for your school

We understand that there may be specific questions you have about the programme and what we can do for your school. Please feel free to book a conversation with one of our activity on referral coaches and explore the programme further - BOOK HERE.

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Nicky Harverson
20 Oct 2021

Activity On Referral