Welcome to the spring newsletter, we have some exciting and inspiring developments to share with you. A year on from the devastating tsunami in Japan, Mary Atkinson writes to tell us about a fantastic project she is involved with, in the heart of the affected community. It is so inspiring to hear how compassionately and creatively peer massage will be used and the difference it will make.
Carol Trower, MISA’s development coordinator, has had a busy start to the year. Read on for her updates and report.
You will also find out about conferences, evaluation training, and the members’ survey and hear fabulous feedback from MISA’s instructors.
The directors and Sarah (in the office) have continued to Skype regularly; the AGM & conference are planned so make sure you book your place soon. We have designed a new MISP flyer to help promote the MISP. If you have a little time to spare why not consider joining us as a MISA volunteer?
We send a big ‘thank you’ to all our members for their continued commitment to improving the well-being of children. We know what a huge difference safe nurturing touch makes when we instruct children in the MISP. We make a difference. Read on and enjoy!
MISP Helping Tsunami Victims in Japan
Two Massage in Schools Instructors, Takiko Ando and Mary Atkinson, are travelling to Rituzentakata, Japan, in April 2012 to teach peer massage to children who have been so badly affected by last year’s Tsunami.
Takiko, a Japanese aroma therapist and founder of Cocoro (a charity that provides aromatherapy for people in the disaster area of Japan) met Mary when she was giving a talk on ‘Positive Touch for Children’ at Camexpo in October 2011. Takiko and Mary have now forged a strong bond with a shared passion for teaching peer massage to children and they are looking forward to working together on this important project.
The Japanese people are conditioned by their culture not to burden others with their suffering and find it hard to express their emotions. However, with calming massage, Takiko has found that adults begin to talk more openly about their grief and trauma, and say they sleep better and feel new hope for the future.
A year after the disaster, many children are suffering post traumatic stress with recurring nightmares, depression and high anxiety levels, so Takiko and Mary are concentrating their efforts on these vulnerable children. They will be visiting a number of kindergartens in the tsunami-destroyed area and sharing a simple story massage which they have written with the help of Sandra Hooper, Carol Trower and Anne Crease. The story has now been translated into Japanese and the plan is to create story books so that the children and teachers can continue to use the massage moves over the coming months and years.
Mary has been fund-raising for the project which has involved giving many talks and holding a Japanese evening. She has been delighted by the support and interest generated not only in the forthcoming trip but also in the Massage in Schools Programme.
You can read more about the initiative by using the links below:
Takiko’s Blog: http://cocorojapan.blog105.fc2.com/
Mary’s website: http://www.maryatkinson.com/healing-touch-for-tsunami-children/
I will also be writing a follow up article for the Summer Newsletter upon my return.
Mary Atkinson, MISP Instructor and Information, Marketing and Promotion Committee member.
MISA Conference & AGM 2012 in Croydon, London
MISA’s 9th AGM will be held this year on the night before the conference allowing extra time on the conference day itself for speakers and forums. The AGM and a social get together (meal) will be held on Friday 25th May from 6pm, followed on Saturday 26th May with the member’s forum and Conference (9am – 4pm). The cost for this is only £35 for members and £45 for non-members, from 1pm onwards. If you are interested in attending please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your place.
MISA Directors 2011-2012
Development Coordinator –Development Job 3 Update
Like our administrator Sarah and chair Anne, much work goes on the background that is unseen.
The work thus far includes putting together two surveys. One is for our members where we ask for views on MISA/MISP development. This is vitally important as we engage with social media and support our members with new technologies in the continuing development of the MISP. If you work in a school, we know MISP is only a tiny fraction of your face to face work with children but your support feedback is very important as we build the bigger picture within England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Do fill in the questionnaire it will only take 5-10 minutes and the results will be invaluable.
The other survey is a general survey to our associates to try and gauge how many schools are using MISP and over what period of time. This is the question that comes up, time and time again, from journalists and other media researchers and our instructors on every training course. For the benefit of all our children I do hope these questionnaires will provide us with some relevant data.
On talking to many commissioners of school services around the country it has become clear that proof of continuing professional development is now vital and one reason that the directors have taken the decision that all instructors trained from September 2012 must maintain their membership to continue to provide MISP.
We are pleased to say all MISP official research has now been put into one document that we hope you will find very useful in your MISP work. This will be available in the Research section of the public website www.misa.org.uk
We have also been busy writing funding bids to expand the work of MISP and are awaiting the results of two bids with others in the pipeline. If you would like to put a joint bid in with MISA, send the office an email. Joint working and partnership strengthens the chance of bids being accepted, expanding the benefits of this wonderful programme to more children.
On March 21st there was a twilight session in Leicestershire organised by two MISP instructors with the aim of expanding the programme into more schools. I attended to give an overview of the National picture. It is hoped more joint working around the various local authorities and regions will be possible in the months to come.
I continue to represent MISA at the Anti-bullying Alliance, although meetings are less frequent due to the reduced funding from central government. Please remember to mark anti bullying week in November in your diary.
I look forward to receiving any contacts or ideas in developing MISP into more schools.
Carol Trower Development Officer & MISP Trainer
News Update from the MISA Support Committee
News from the support committee:- Kate Norfolk, MISP Instructor and EWNI’s most newly qualified MISP trainer attended a national voluntary sector conference in Manchester with Children England. Many of the biggest and busiest third sector organizations who support children and young people were present, as was the minister for children and families! Hopefully some useful connections were made. There were some really interesting workshops such as how to engage schools, neglect-current research, how it affects service delivery and peer review for organisational development. I will be providing information and feedback via our website when all the notes are together.
Evaluation tools…We have been looking at ‘the outcomes star’ (www.outcomesstar.org.uk) as a useful evaluation tool and will be attending some training in using this with children and families. Again, feedback will be made via the website. Have a look online and let us know what you think.
Getting creative in the classroom…As we move into the lighter days of early spring, we invite you to make the most of the wonderful natural changes happening in the outdoors and perhaps use the theme of ’growth and change’ in class massage sessions. This is a real opportunity to tap into children’s creativity and let them take the lead in developing a spring massage!
We would love to hear from you if you have been using touch in the curriculum. Please share your successes and ideas so we can continue to grow and inspire more teachers to use touch with their children.
Kate Norfolk, MISP Trainer & Support Committee Chair
We also have new positive touch activities (courtesy of Michelle Curtis) available for members to download including a ‘Gruffalo Massage’ and ‘Fire of London Massage’ – Login and go to ‘Resources’ & ‘Positive touch activities’.
Fabulous Feedback! Quote Corner
I just wanted to say what fabulous energising training I experienced provided by Kate Pigeon-Owen in Daventry this week. I’m really looking forward to taking this forward. Thanks Kate
Veronica, Specialist Senior Educational Psychologist Early Years (Jan 2012)
Wonderful two days! This course will impact not only on my professional life but family too. We seem a long way off getting the balance right for children (academic achievement/emotional security) but this course is a huge step in the right direction. Many thanks.
New instructor, Exeter
I just want to share with you some of the lovely quotes my scrummy Massage in Schools class had to say about the 6 sessions I have spent with them. They are 6 and 7 year olds, with many having English as a second language. For the last session they sat and showed me the routine all the way through, that they had practiced with their teacher over the 6 weeks. I felt very much the proud mummy watching her baby take its first steps. If I could have bottled their concentration I would have!!! I’m looking forward to re-visiting them in the future.
Sonia, Assistant Healthy Schools Programme Manager
“It was really fun and relaxing and I enjoyed it a lot” “I enjoyed it because it was a little bit tickly!” “Before we started I was very excited because I wanted to know what it felt like, I had never had a massage before!” “I did the whole massage for my Nan and she didn’t want it to end!” “Thank you for teaching us the bear walk – that was my favourite part” “I loved doing those massages. I couldn’t do the scooping one but you kept teaching me and then I could do it at the end!” “I did the hearts massage on my baby sister, very gently, and she fell asleep!” “It makes us all nice and calm” “My favourite was the ice skating” “My mum liked the butterfly massage the best”
You may be aware that MISA received some media attention earlier in the year, when a small number of parents from a school in Sheffield raised concerns about the programme and the issue of consent. Our development coordinator Carol Trower responded strongly on Jeremy Vine’s radio 2 programme, helping to set the record straight.
We also followed an online debate via www.netmums.co.uk Interestingly the majority of mums thought the programme a great idea and the initial negative attention generated interesting and positive discussion regarding touch in education – with some parents stating they would be asking their local schools to bring the MISP!
It is also useful for us to be reminded of the importance of consent from parents so that we are all providing quality assurance in the delivery of our brilliant programme.
Find an Instructor
Most MISP instructors are already working with children in schools and other situations but a number of our members are independent and able to work in a variety of settings.
There is a search facility for school staff or health professionals looking for someone to deliver a workshop or introduce the Massage in Schools Programme (MISP) to children.
Maybe you are looking for some workshops for your Healthy Living Week, Happy Hearts Week or other event. Perhaps you would like someone to introduce the Massage in Schools Programme to the children in your school, after school club or youth group.
Members of the public can search for MISP Instructors by region and local education authority (LEA). MISP Instructors that can work independently will be listed by name, telephone number and with an email contact facility. If there are no names shown, then adjoining LEAs can be checked to see if there are members there that can assist.
MISP Instructors can ensure that they can be contacted for work by going to the members’ website and selecting ‘MY MISA’ & ‘Public contact’. Check the box and give the telephone number you wish to use.
Please contact email@example.com for further advice if needed.
Can you help?
Hello my name is Lee Stang and I am a Massage Therapist in Connecticut in the USA. I will be working as part of the London Sports Massage Team, volunteering at both the Olympics and Paralympics. I am a member of the American Massage Therapy Association here in the States. I am looking to see if anyone in your organization might be interested in hosting a few Massage Therapists during the summer games. As you may know these positions are all voluntary and three of us from CT are in search for either a host family or some reasonable hosting. If you can be of assistance I would greatly appreciate it. To learn more about me you can go to www.bridgestohealth.net. Thank you for your time, respectfully, Lee Stang. Please contact Lee directly of you can assist – firstname.lastname@example.org.