Greater Manchester researchers and innovators celebrate primary school participation | News and Events

Greater Manchester researchers and innovators celebrate primary school participation

researchers giving presentation in front of pupils sat down in hall

Colleagues from the Research & Innovation department at Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMMH), Greater Manchester Clinical Research Network (CRN:GM) and Wigan Council’s Healthy Schools team visited All Saints Catholic Primary School, Golborne, to present an award for the school’s outstanding work in supporting research.  

The school award presentation followed the Lumi Nova team winning the Best Contribution to Research Delivery outside of the NHS award at the NIHR’s Greater Manchester Health & Care Research Awards in October this year, for the study’s focus on an underserved population in school settings and impressive participant numbers. 

A great deal of this was made possible by the work of Sandra Russel, Pastoral and Safeguarding Lead at All Saints Catholic Primary School, who was celebrated for her efforts in supporting the study by recruiting sixteen pupils and their parents to participate in the Lumi Nova study. The study provided access to the immersive gaming app which teaches young people who to self-manage their fears and worries based on exposure therapy.  

Mrs Russell recognised the benefits that participation might bring for All Saints pupils, and with the support of the staff team, she liaised with GMMH’s School Link Team and the Research & Innovation Digital Navigator to support the children through the study.  

Screenshot of Lumi Nova app

Mrs Russell also ran a workshop with the BfB Labs team to allow children to share their experiences and contribute to the ongoing co-design and improvement of the app.  

John Sainsbury, Innovation Manager at GMMH gave the assembly a summary of the Lumi-Nova study and why it was so important. Researchers from CRN:GM introduced the pupils to what research is, and finally finished off the presentation with a reading from the Ready for Research children’s book. Ten copies of the book were gifted to the school for their library.  

Upon accepting the award, Mrs Russell told the assembly and presenters of the overwhelming interest by parents and children to take part in the study – not only for those from disadvantaged backgrounds but across the board, indicating a need for early intervention for children with anxiety.  

Wendy Hughes, Head Teacher for All Saints Catholic Primary School, said:  

“Sandra is absolutely brilliant and a pivotal member of our staff team. She works tirelessly to support the wellbeing of all within our school community and wants the very best for our families and children. We are lucky to have her in our All Saints family and are delighted she has received this recognition for her hard work on the Lumi Nova study.” 

John Sainsbury, Innovation Manager at GMMH, said:  

“It was a pleasure to visits All Saints, Golborne at 9am on a Monday morning and meet with staff keen to help children with their learning and well-being. Mrs Russell told me she could have recruited three times the number of children to Lumi Nova due to the high levels of worry and developing anxiety experienced by children in the school. However, due to the study’s inclusion criteria of participants having home addresses in the most deprived areas, we couldn’t offer access to the game via this study to others who might have benefited.   

“This demonstrates the high need for early mental health intervention for children of primary school age, which sits alongside a gap in skills, access and provision of support to staff, families and children. Evidence-based digital therapeutic interventions might meet some of those needs and enable children to overcome their fears and progress in their lives with greater confidence.” 

You can find out more about Lumi Nova: Tales of Courage at by visiting its website here.  

You can find out more about the study and our Innovation team via our Innovation webpage here.  

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