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Self-regulation resources and training to support children’s mental health

Featured Coach – Viv Foster

Read Viv’s story of how she handed in her notice, set up her new Relax Kids business in lockdown that has now reached over 850 and is loving her work.

Viv has had a 30 year career working with children in various settings including nurseries, mainstream primary, special needs schools as well as in the volunteer sector. Having seen how the education system has changed with a greater focus on achieving excellent results with tests, exams, and regular assessments, this pushed her look for a wellbeing programme that supports the less achieving students.

“I decided to retrain as a Relax Kids coach, and I gained my certification two weeks before the first lockdown. I was full of enthusiasm and then the world shut down! It was a challenging time for everyone, and I did feel frustrated at times as I was all ready to ply my trade as a coach. I really believed in the program and found myself turning to the 7 steps as my confidence and enthusiasm was dwindling. I had no client base, but this did not stop me, I delivered classes to friends and family. September came and we were back in school. I was given just a couple of slots a week in the school that I worked at.

I knew in my heart that Relax Kids is what I wanted to do so I handed my notice in and decided to focus purely on my new venture. I completed my Baby Mindful training, and I am close to finishing my Charge up online training. I did deliver some adults classes via zoom once covid restrictions were eased then proceeded to deliver classes indoors. During the summer evenings I was able to deliver classes by a private lake, it was beautiful and an amazing experience for all of us, the ladies attended even when it rained.

The summer holidays arrived, and I offered to do some free sessions for Essex County Councils Activate programme. This is a free club for low-income families and the children receive a free hot meal at every session. Active Essex loved Relax Kids and have now booked classes all over the county for after school clubs and are enquiring about Christmas clubs too! I have been able to share the work with other coaches in the county.

My aim is to become more visible as I want parents / carers and schools to know we are here ready to support them. I believe in Relax kids and the ethos they represent so even with the world shutting down I continued in whatever way I could. Starting a new business through a world lockdown sounds crazy but by thinking creatively and never giving up is proving dividends as I am developing a healthy client base. I am supporting children back into schools, helping them through their anxieties, building confidence and their self-esteem.

I now run classes in a local school and have a waiting list for 1-1 classes as well as working with the activate programmes. Since I qualified, I have delivered classes to over 850 children and adults, wow that makes me smile! It has been such a brilliant change of career for me. I feel so proud to say I am helping children and adults manage in this ever-changing stressful world we are living in. I also have all my enthusiasm back for a job I love. I am planning new ways to promote my classes and I look forward to working as a team to spread the Relax Kids message all over Essex.”