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"At the Link School, we aim to ensure that emotional well-being is at the heart and ethos of the school, to promote emotional health and well-being in staff, as well as children. We adopt a positive, can do approach.
At our school we recognise that the staff and children are the most important resource and are to be valued, supported and encouraged to develop personally and professionally, within a learning and caring community. We aim to create and support a healthy and happy working environment, where everyone feels they are listened to and valued.
We are constantly reviewing out practice across the school and in September 2020, we open are Key Stage 3 Assessment Hub. Working with Breakfree Counselling Services, have enabled our children and young people to learn how to develop their own mental fitness and resilience, and work on strategies to improve their emotional well-being.
Why did you choose Breakfree Counselling?
The Link School has worked been aware of Breakfree’s expertise for the last two years. It is evident that Michael and Helen have a thorough understanding of children and young people needs which are reflected in their child centred approach to the therapy they provide – no challenge is too big and they do whatever needed to make things work. This has been key in ensuring that the children remain the focus of everything that we do at Hub.
Both Helen and Michael have been responsive to change and we are sure that Breakfree came along at exactly the right time to support our school in its journey moving forward, they are an integral part of our Hub family.
The benefits of using Breakfree Counselling are:
⦁    Worked with the most vulnerable learners including those in care and their families/foster carers. They are able to use their experience to offer the right type of therapy for the children, whatever it takes.
⦁    A child centred approach.
⦁    Excellent emotional intelligence and resilience which resonates throughout their interactions with the assessment hub staff empowering them to support the children outside of therapy sessions.
⦁    A firm understanding in what the role of a safeguarding in relation to school but also maintaining pupil confidentiality.
⦁    Through the Covid – 19 pandemic Breakfree Counselling have supported the staff in a way we never thought possible – they offered their services to staff free of charge, their dedication and passion to help shines through.
Would you recommend Breakfree to other? If so, why?
Yes, as a school we are committed to developing a safe, motivated workforce and want to provide effective and appropriate support for all our staff and pupils.
Breakfree really embrace their mission: you will not be ignored, you will not be judged, they will listen and they will help – from our perspective they do this in a very natural and unassuming way, they make such a difference to all, a bunch of beautiful people who know how to help."

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Donna Walker, Head Teacher, The Link School, Sunderland

"We care about the vulnerable, we care about our community nothing can pay us or teach us about the intrinsic qualities of the profession we
choose. We are precious about the services we offer and the companies
and partners that we work with , we need to know that they have the
same passion, values and commitment. Breakfree Counselling have
exceeded our expectations and we are honoured to have them as part of
our core offer to our community. Their range and depth of knowledge
and expertise coupled with their flexibility and professionalism
have made them a pleasure to work with..."

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Cassandra O'neil - Pennywell Youth Project

"Oxclose Community Academy has worked with Breakfree for 3 years. Helen has supported our most vulnerable pupils with their mental health with weekly session.  Helen communicates across the academy and parents with ease.  Her professional, informed, sensitive, empathic, child centred approach has resulted in some excellent results for our pupils and their families and so therefore their education.  Her work adheres to our Child Protection and Safeguarding policies. During lockdown Helen continued her session over on the telephone, feeding back after sessions to ensure a holistic support package for our pupils at this difficult time.  Helen has also offered supported in some situations where her knowledge has meant that further support can be identified and quickly brought in.  Helen has quickly become a member of our team, and we would not hesitate to recommend Breakfree."

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Mrs Maureen Ross, SAMM Manager - Oxclose Community Academy

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