Hummingbird Project brings happiness to school children in Oldham

Date published: 23 April 2024

Primary school pupils in Oldham have been learning ways to feel happier after completing the Hummingbird Project, a six-week course delivered by children’s health charity MedEquip4Kids.

This was made possible thanks to a grant from local housing provider Jigsaw Homes Group, which provided £3,000 of funding through its Jigsaw Foundation in addition to supporting the project in the previous year.

The funding benefited 60 pupils across two schools; Broadfield Primary School and Burnley Brow Community Primary School, which are located in areas where a high proportion of Jigsaw Homes residents live.

One in six children and young people are now thought to have a diagnosable mental health condition such as anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder or an eating disorder.

In response to the crisis in children’s mental health, the Hummingbird Project was developed by MedEquip4Kids, working in partnership with psychologists at the Universities of Bolton and Chester, and more recently the Open University.

Based on principles of Positive Psychology, the course covers topics such as happiness, kindness, mindfulness, strengths, gratitude, growth mindsets, hope and optimism.

The sessions include mindfulness meditations, sensory experiences like rating different smells, using character strength cards to find your unique strengths, and fun activities like the hula hoop challenge, which teaches about resilience and teamwork.

The Hummingbird sessions are designed and taught by MedEquip4Kids staff Ian Platt, a psychology postgraduate from the University of Bolton, and Sonia Ebenezer-Bamigbayan, a teacher and schools counsellor, who also recently completed her postgraduate degree in Positive Psychology and Counselling at the University of Bolton.

Catherine North, Hummingbird Project Manager at MedEquip4Kids, said: “We are so grateful to the Jigsaw Foundation for supporting our work in Oldham.

"As you can see from the comments above, the project is having a positive impact on young people’s wellbeing, resilience and hope.

"All this is made possible by the generosity of our donors.”

The Jigsaw Foundation provides £450,000 a year to support local projects run by charities, resident and community groups, voluntary organisations, social enterprises and partner agencies.

Residents and groups can apply for projects that make a real difference to people’s lives and their communities.

Chelsea Evans, Neighbourhood Engagement Officer at Jigsaw Homes Group, who helps manage the Foundation fund, visited the project.

She said: “The children were clearly enjoying being part of the project and were very much engaged with the sessions.

"It was wonderful to hear from their teacher about the huge impact this had had on the way the pupils interact with each other in and out of the classroom and it is great to see how our funding has really helped benefit them through this brilliant project.”

To find out more about the Hummingbird Project, please click here

Do you have a story for us? Want to tell us about something going on in and around Oldham? Let us know by emailing , calling our Oldham-based newsroom on 0161 633 2121 , tweeting us @oldhamchronicle or messaging us through our Facebook page. All contact will be treated in confidence.