YES! for Schools

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Project Lead:

Peter Higginson

Peter is an International Trainer for YES! for Schools in the UK. He has taught the programme in the USA, Germany, Greece and the UK. This has also included working with refugee students from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
A talented carpenter by trade, Peter is passionate about working with young people and helping them thrive.
In his spare time Peter likes to challenge himself at his local skateboarding park where he teaches others how to skateboard.

He is also a singer songwriter and plays acoustic guitar.

Project team:

Birgit Konig, Valma Cameron, Su Bowerman, Fatema Paretha, Kathy Cunningham, Evita Bormane, Arsheen Aneja

The challenge:

‘It is easier to build a strong child than repair a broken man’. (Frederick Douglass)

Many children leave school ill-equipped for life. In the UK our education system is focused on academics, but many of our schools are overwhelmed with pressure, stress, emotional burn-out, bullying and trauma.

The young become disengaged from education and this has drastic implications for the mental wellbeing of our young.

Statistics from Mental Health First Aid England (MHFA):

  • Self-harming behaviours can begin at any age, but commonly begin at ages 13-15.
  • About 18% of students age 12-17 report self-harming at some point in their life.
  • 26.8% of people aged 16-24 report having had suicidal thoughts in their lifetime, a higher percentage than any other age group.
  • 34.6% of females and 19.3% of males aged 16-24 have had thoughts of suicide in their lifetime.
  • Suicide is the most common cause of death for those aged 10-19.

The Opportunity:

YES! for Schools gives young students, teachers and parents tools to manage stress, allowing for more effective learning.

YES! for Schools empowers the young to take responsibility for themselves and their education by giving them simple and effective cognitive and physiological tools.

YES! for Schools promotes happiness and wellbeing amongst students and teachers, leading to a strengthened and resilient school and wider community.

Our Aim & Approach

YES! for Schools delivery model

  • Through a 16 hour programme young students are taught essential life skills in how to effectively manage stress and emotions leading to increased achievement in the classroom and beyond.
  • Programme workshops are integrated into the curriculum. These give training in powerful breathing techniques, mind skills and interactive processes to reduce stress.
  • YES! for Schools empowers and inspires the young to take responsibility for their education, giving them cognitive and psychosocial tools.
  • YES! for Schools brings alive core values in young people: confidence, respect, resilience and service.
  • Graduates of our programme have experienced a 44% increase in ‘growth mindset’ and they in turn empower their peers, leading to a strengthened and resilient community.
  • YES! for Schools is a flexible programme which can be tailored to suit each schools’ needs and time availability.

Our Impact:

The YES! For Schools programme started its journey in the US some 15 years ago where it is now known as SKY Schools.

It proved so effective and valuable that the programme quickly expanded so more countries could benefit. It has had great success in schools internationally over the last 15 years with a reach of well over 100,000 young people

The students in these schools have witnessed significant improvement in all aspects (e.g. behaviour, academic results, wellbeing).

Students practising the SKY breathing technique regularly report the below positive changes in their wellbeing. (

75% feel better able to manage their emotions and stress.
79% feel calmer and more relaxed.
75% reported better focus and quality of sleep.

How you can contribute:

We are looking for project ambassadors to champion YES! For Schools and connect us to more schools in the UK.

If you would like to learn more about our programme and how you can get involved, please email us at

We are also always in need of funds to support our work in schools and would appreciate any fundraising initiatives you can help with.

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GET INVOLVED To reach more people in need, we need your help: volunteers, supporters and donations.

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