Menopause Training- Making Every Contact Count (MECC)

Designed by the Royal Society for Public Health in collaboration with Bluesci and with funding
from Health Education England, this menopause awareness training seeks to develop knowledge,
skills and confidence to integrate relevant conversations and support.

Traditionally, menopause is viewed as a specialist medical and clinical condition and as such,
most people at the frontline of running support services or initiatives within the health system,
the community and workplaces, do not routinely ask about menopause. It is not surprising that
women are reluctant or feel unable to talk about menopause and its impact on their lives.

Through the Making Every Contact Count (MECC) approach, participants will be able to challenge this
culture and openly have menopause related conversations with friends, family, a colleague or
with an individual accessing a service. Using the 3A’s (ASK, ASSIST, ACT) framework, participants
will be able to explore the physical, emotional and social impacts of menopause, and provide
information about how to access information and local support through menopause cafes, GPs,
lifestyle services, online resources and apps.

During this 3 hour session, participants will be able to:

  1. Review their knowledge of menopause
  2. Reflect on the relevance of menopause as part of their organisation’s work
  3. Discuss recognition of menopause and associated risks of missed diagnosis
  4. Make action plans on what they can do to progress practice within their service/organisation

At the end of the programme, all participants will receive a certificate of attendance with 2
continuous professional development (CPD) points.


Trauma Informed Support (Including Attachment)- In Person

Why do some children behave the way they do and how can we help them? This is fantastic Mental Health training for education staff working with Adopted, Looked After or Vulnerable Pupils.  It would be beneficial to complete our Mental Health First Aid training first, but not essential.




Programme structure

This day long course is delivered by an external trainer, Lisa Wisher, who is a qualified Mental Health First Aid England Instructor, Social Worker, Psychotherapist (in Advanced Training) and adopter.

Course aims

The core aims of the programme are to:

  • Explain how trauma and abuse impacts on a child’s mental health
  • Explore how events in childhood affect lifelong mental health
  • Explain how children who have experienced trauma and abuse may behave in school
  • Explore ways schools can support the mental health of their students who have experience early trauma

What does it involve?

The content is a mixture of up to date theory and research on attachment and neuroscience, which will help participants understand the often contradictory and difficult behaviour of some pupils.

It also provides an opportunity to learn and identify a range of practical and tried and tested strategies, which can be adapted to different educational settings to help children who have been adopted, looked after or who remain in difficult home environments. The course also provides an interactive opportunity for participants to bring their own individual case studies – to help identify bespoke strategies for their pupil/s. 

“Lisa’s training was transformational – it enabled teachers and support staff to really appreciate what was behind some of the behaviours we see in the classroom and to deal with the behaviour in a non-confrontational way to that teaching & learning wasn’t compromised”Abraham Guest in Wigan -2015

“This was the best behaviour training I have ever attended”.Flixton Girls School –2014

“This training really opened my eyes and Lisa’s style of delivery was so engaging – we didn’t want it to end”AGGS SCITT Trainees – 2015

Health & Wellbeing Reviews

Conducting a Health & Wellbeing Review across your Local Authority (LA) or Multi Academy Trust (MAT) is a valuable opportunity forleaders to reflect on when considering how to further develop and improve their provisions.

A Health & Wellbeing Review will enable leaders to have a thorough understanding of the full spectrum of the mental health and wellbeing needs of pupils (including those with SEND) and colleagues in its schools and how well this is linked to the LA or MAT’s priorities.

Although leaders can undertake self-evaluation of their LA or MATs internally, it can be helpful to involve an external partner in the process.

Here at Bright Futures Alliance for Learning we have a plethora of experience in conducting large scale Health & Wellbeing Reviews and with a team of Mental Health England trained national facilitators, we are well placed to service your needs. Our Health & Wellbeing review packages are bespoke to each setting and are designed in partnership with you, to make sure it fits with your current systems and structures.

We believe that Health & Wellbeing Reviews should be a collaborative two-way process, where our team of reviewers work alongside your leaders to consider the evidence and agree the strengths, areas for development and key priorities together. The process supports professional development and should result in the sharing of new ideas and practices.

The review itself is just the start; the process will only be truly beneficial if the findings from the review are used to support strategic development planning at LA or MAT level.

Here are just some of the LA’s and MATs we have worked with:

  • Bolton Council
  • Bury Council
  • Enquire Learning Trust
  • Featherstone
  • Learning without Limits
  • Link 4 Life
  • Star
  • TBAP
  • TCAT
  • Thames Learning Trust
  • Trafford Council
  • United Learning Trust

For more information please contact Claire Critchley:

Eating Disorders CPD

We are delighted to be working with the inspiring Hope Virgo, to offer CPD around Eating Disorders. 

Course content

This three hour session will offer a comprehensive introduction, covering topics such as:

  • what an eating disorder is
  • current state of play re eating disorders
  • personal experience, with Hope sharing her story to bring them in to the mindset of someone who has had an eating disorder
  • how to have a conversation with someone 
  • how to spot the signs 
  • practically what we can do to make sure the right messaging is out there, that the right people are getting support and how to prevent more people developing an eating disorder


Hope Virgo is the Author of Stand Tall Little Girl, and a multi award winning international leading advocate for people with eating disorders. Hope helps young people and employers (including schools, hospitals and businesses) to deal with the rising tide of mental health issues which affect one in four people and costs employers between £33 and £42 billion annually. She has been described by Richard Mitchell, CEO of Sherwood Forest Hospital, as “sharing a very powerful story with a huge impact”. Hope is also a recognised media spokesperson, having appeared on various platforms including BBC Newsnight, Victoria Derbyshire, Good Morning Britain, Sky News and BBC News. 

Hope is the founder of the #DumpTheScales campaign which put eating disorders on the Government’s agenda. The campaign has gone from strength to strength making change happen on a national scale

For four years, Hope managed to keep it hidden, keeping dark secrets from friends and family. But then, on 17th November 2007, Hope’s world changed forever. She was admitted to a mental health hospital. Her skin was yellowing, her heart was failing. She was barely recognizable. Forced to leave her family and friends, the hospital became her home. Over the next year, at her lowest ebb, Hope faced the biggest challenge of her life. She had to find the courage to beat her anorexia

Customer Service and De-escalation Techniques for Staff

We are pleased to be working with 2 experienced facilitators from Marketing and Mental Health backgrounds to deliver valuable training around De-escalation techniques and customer service.

All school staff, but significantly receptionists and front line pastoral staff, have to have so many conversations with parents. Sometimes these conversations can be sensitive or difficult to manage, and not all front line staff have had high quality training on how to get the best out of every conversation.

Every interaction the school has with parents is an opportunity to deepen relationships and really engage.

This session will maintain a valuable focus on staff wellbeing while working in a busy school environment, and will use aspects of Emotion Coaching and some Transactional Analysis to help staff manage conflict and difficult conversations.

Mental Health for MATs

We are excited to roll out our MHFA for MATs package for multi academy trusts of all sizes across the region and beyond!

The training is delivered online and is designed to train staff from multiple schools as Mental Health First Aiders, enabling them to ensure the wellbeing of pupils and colleagues, remotely and in person.

The package is bespoke to each Trust and is designed in partnership with you, to make sure it fits with your current systems and structures. We can also advise on any changes we feel would be advantageous to your current Mental Health & Wellbeing provision.

More Information

Ready to book?

To arrange a consultation call with Lisa Fathers (Director of Teaching School & Partnerships) please email 

Adult MHFA Refresher Training

MHFA Refresher Training

If you have trained as a Mental Health First Aider through a 2 day course, or are a MHFA Champion having completed a 1 day course, then you have skills for life that help with mental health and wellbeing for yourself and the people around you.

 At the Alliance for Learning, we share the same view as that of MHFA England – mental health should be treated equally to physical health. Therefore, just like for physical first aid training such as Emergency First Aid at Work, Mental Health First Aid training should be kept up to date. As such, completing refresher training every three years is recommended.

It is really good practice to ‘refresh’ your training.

This refresher training is comprised of a mix of presentations, group discussions and workshop activities. Like all MHFA training courses, there is a limit on participant numbers to ensure that the instructor can fully engage with those in attendance, keeping them safe and supported while discussing some difficult subject matter.

 The four hour MHFA Refresher course will support those in attendance to:

  • Keep your awareness of mental health support current
  • Update your knowledge of mental health and what influences it
  • Practice applying the Mental Health First Aid action plan, and keep your knowledge of this fresh

Please note that this MHFA Refresher session is only for people who have completed an Adult MHFA Two Day or One Day course.

Domestic Abuse and the Impact on Children and Young People

Coronavirus and the subsequent lockdowns have had a dramatic impact on all our lives. However, one area that has been impacted the most is domestic abuse. 

There were more than 40,000 calls and contacts made to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline during the first three months of lockdown, most by women seeking help. This represents an 80% increase on the same time last year, says the charity Refuge, which runs the helpline.  As well as an increase in calls, Domestic Abuse organisations have also seen a 54% increase in women needing to flee their abusers. 

The Office of National Statistics have issued a range of data sources to assess the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on domestic abuse in England and Wales – please click here to be redirected.

Living in a home where domestic abuse happens can have a serious impact on a child or young person’s mental and physical wellbeing, as well as their behaviour. And this can last into adulthood. Evidence tells us that over 90% of children are in the same or next room to where the abuse is happening. Two women are murdered every week by a current or former partner. 

What’s important is to make sure that people are protected, and the abuse stops and that children have a safe and stable environment to grow up in.

This Domestic Abuse training course helps people who work with children to understand what domestic violence is, how it may begin, who perpetrates abuse, and how to identify when it may be happening. The course outlines the impact that domestic violence and abuse has on victims and children, and assists colleagues to understand how to respond appropriately to their concerns.

Domestic violence and abuse, sometimes referred to as DVA, is a serious safeguarding children issue. Witnessing domestic violence – whether first hand, overhearing it, or only observing the after-effects – is considered a form of significant harm under safeguarding children guidance.

This is a two-part course.  The first half of the day is designed so you can identify the signs that a child or young person is living in a home where there is domestic abuse.  It will equip you to know how to respond and how to risk assess and refer victims to the appropriate services including those who are at high risk of homicide. 

The second half of the day is an exploration of how domestic abuse impacts on children and young people at different ages, how we can identify those children who are living with domestic abuse and how we can help them on the journey to recovery. 

This training course is essential for anyone working with children and young people whether in a school setting or a different setting.

Facilitator: Lisa Wisher (click here to view her bio)

Self Harm CPD

Attention Seekers or something more? What is self-harm really about?

The session will cover:

  • Definition
  • Triggers
  • Functions
  • Relationship between self-harm and suicide
  • Broaching suspected self-harm
  • Language use
  • Best practice response to disclosures

A full pdf will be made available post session and a CPD certificate

An introduction to Supervision Skills

An introduction to Supervision Skills – to help you support your pastoral staff

There continues to be increasing demand on education staff to support children, young people, and their families on a regular basis. Many of these children have complex social and emotional issues.

In addition some services are experiencing cuts. Dealing with risk, trauma and uncertainty for school staff can have a negative impact on stress levels and if left unattended can lead to absence and  burn-out. If you are interested in providing safe, supportive, and effective supervision for your team, this course is for you.

By the end of the one and a half days you will;

  • Have a greater understanding of the purpose of supervision
  • Have strengthened your communication skills for supervisory practice
  • Have had a go at putting  into practice a model of supervision
  • Be more confident to offer a basic level of supervision to pastoral and support staff in your organisation

The one and a half day course uses a mixture of theory as well as practical, hands on and experiential learning.  A must do for anyone who is interested in supporting staff to be the best they can for the children and young people they work with. A really useful course which compliments many of the other mental health courses we run.

NB This does not aim to replace specialist supervision which some staff often access, it is simply an introduction to supervision skills to help provide better daily support.

We are providing this training in response to school requests and Julie Castleman is highly experienced in this area, to view her biography please click here.

Alliance for Learning
Cavendish Road, Bowdon
Altrincham WA14 2NL
Proud to part of the Bright Futures Education Trust