22 November 2019
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Ruairi’s story

Action for Children’s Blues Programme has helped Ruairi ‘not to feel alone anymore’

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We’re halfway through this year’s Ops Fundraising Challenge and teams up and down the country have been busy fundraising and competing head to head against their colleagues in aid of Action for Children’s pioneering mental health initiative, the Blues Programme.

The Ops Challenge is your opportunity to raise both awareness of mental health issues affecting young people and money to enable children across the UK get the support they need.

Ruairi is one of the students who completed the Blues Programme at his school. Today, he has agreed to share why he thinks it’s so important for young people.

Prior to joining the course, Ruairi often felt lonely and spent very little time with his peers. He often struggled with trust in his friendships and believed that no-one knew the ‘real Ruairi’.

Ruairi felt extremely demotivated in many areas of his life and soon started struggling with his schoolwork. His lack of motivation caused him to stop producing the high standard of work that he was capable of and he often worried about failing.

Sometimes Ruairi would forget about important exams he had coming up because he became so consumed with negative thoughts. He would often arrive at school to discover that he hadn’t revised for exams, which were crucial to his final results.

Ruairi often felt so isolated in his emotions that he didn’t believe anyone could understand how he was really feeling. But after completing the Blues Programme, he says he feels more confident and ‘better knowing that there are people like me going through the same kind of stuff.

‘The Blues Programme allowed me to be more open and share my thoughts between people who were feeling the same,’ he said.

Completing the programme encouraged Ruairi to make much more of an effort to see his peers. ‘The Blues Programme gave me the support I needed to socialise more,’ he added. ‘I noticed a significant improvement in my mood and my confidence increased.’

Ruairi says he began speaking out a lot more and joining in with group conversations; joking and laughing with others on the programme. With such a noticeable lift in his mood, he started completing his schoolwork on time and to a much better standard. He says he is now determined to continue improving.

‘The programme is really helpful because you learn coping skills,’ he said. ‘I now find it much easier to plan and balance school life with my social life - this is definitely one of the benefits of the course - I don’t feel alone anymore.’

Ruairi says he now has fewer things in his life that bother him and less ‘triggers’ after completing the programme. He is determined to do well at school and believes strongly in his own ability to succeed at university as well.

Without your support, the Blues Programme would not be possible. Remember, every penny you raise for Action for Children can make a huge difference to the mental health of young people across the UK.

You can contact RoyalMail@actionforchildren.org.uk about fundraising ideas, hints and tips, plus all the materials and support you need to smash your 2019 Ops Challenge targets.