Primary School Walks Key Stage 2
Here at Dudes & Dogs we believe helping the next generation is vital to changing the stigmas around discussing your mental well-being, good or bad. We have been trialling our walk and talks for key stage 2 kids, and they've been going so well we're ready to roll it our for the new term in September 2021, so have a read, then get in touch to find out more.
Dudes & Dogs is a non-profit CIC (Community Interest Company), that supports men’s mental well-being. We have a vision: For men in every corner of the world to know it’s not just okay to talk, it’s vitally important. Our trained ‘Dog Dudes’ host weekly walks all over the UK. They are also internationally accredited Mental Health First Aiders. Our walk and talks in the fresh air, with dogs, provide safe spaces for men to open up, something we’re not particularly good at.
While the focus of Dudes & Dogs is men, we believe in the importance of understanding feelings & emotions for all and more importantly being able to talk about them. We have been hosting weekly walks for small groups of Key Stage 2 children (boys and girls), giving them a chance to understand the benefits of sharing their thoughts and feelings while walking in the fresh air. The pilot has been hugely successful and popular with parents, teachers and kids alike.
The impact of the last year is being felt by all, with reports of everyone of all ages struggling to adapt back to the new norm. By extending the Dudes & Dogs philosophy to supporting pupils all over the UK, our hope is it will be a hugely positive step in showing them the benefits of sharing their hopes and perhaps their worries.
The walks will last between 30 and 40 minutes, and will take place at a venue chosen by the school, in our pilots we have used the school’s forest school space. The walks are supported by a qualified Dog Dude and a member of the school staff, and we will all be together for the duration of the walk. Our dog will be present, and will always remain on a lead under strict control by the Dog Dude. A dog is a critical part of creating relaxed environments for walking and talking. They play a key role in things and their presence is important, but the children will not be allowed to pet him without permission.
The walks will be a positive experience for any children joining, with the plan to have one child from years 3,4,5 and 6 making up a group each week.
The walks are not mandatory, and if you would rather your child did not attend, please do let the school office know.
It’s important to stress that the children will not feel pressured to speak, but simply encouraged, and that the walks will feel safe and supportive to them at all times. Their well-being is the main aim, and hopefully they will enjoy a walk in the fresh air at the very least. But if we can help teach them the importance of talking about how they feel, especially after such a strange period for all of us, then that will be a real benefit.