Improving children's mental and physical health through movement to help them become happier and healthier for life

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Today’s children move less than ever before while mental health issues remain on the rise. With many children diagnosed with a mental health concern and many more still undiagnosed, there is a growing need to help our young people to be happy and healthy.

Stormbreak is a collective of schools, public health and wider community partners that seek to improve children’s mental health and wellbeing through movement. Stormbreak works with schools to develop cultural change activities that equip children with sustainable, transferable skills and coping strategies to survive within the complex demands of growth into adult life. The charity is underpinned by the belief that inclusive and purposeful movement can support young people to develop the tools they will needto maintain good mental health throughout their lives.

Stormbreak CIC is a registered charity in England and Wales (118277). The University of Winchester has been involved since the charity’s conception and remains part of the operational strategic and delivery team. Dr Vicky Randall, Senior Fellow in Knowledge Exchange in the University's Faculty of Education and the Arts and Co-Convener of the Centre for Professional Learning in Education (CPLE), is Director for Teaching and Learning at Stormbreak.

Latest news

Stormbreak key partner in BBC's new Moodboosters campaign

Stormbreak has been partnering with the BBC to develop its new Moodboosters campaign, a set of curriculum-linked resources to inspire children to get moving for mental health and wellbeing. Moodboosters was launched at the BBC Children in Need's appeal show on Friday 18 November 2022.

"Alongside my colleagues at Stormbreak and the BBC team, we designed the concept of the campaign and scripted 40 activities", explained Dr Vicky Randall, Director for Teaching and Learning at Stormbreak. "These activities have now been produced for the BBC Teach website, presented by their BBC talent."

The project builds on an earlier collaboration - in 2020, Stormbreak was awarded £80,000 by BBC Children in Need to implement a children’s mental health response to the Covid pandemic, resulting in a Stormbreak Summer Challenge. To find out more about the Stormbreak Summer Challenge, see below.

Find out more about Moodboosters and how your pupils can benefit from these fun educational resources.

Watch Heidi Snook, Senior Lecturer in Education and Stormbreak Coach, lead a Stormbreak

Recent Stormbreak impact and outputs

2020 Stormbreak Summer Challenge

In the Spring of 2020, Stormbreak won an award of £80,000 from BBC Children in Need to implement a children’s mental health response to the Covid pandemic. The University of Winchester awarded an additional £2500 to support this project. The outcome was the development of an online summer challenge for children to take part in ‘stormbreak@home’ and additional materials to support parents and teachers during this difficult time.

Read the University of Winchester press release on the Stormbreak Summer Challenge 

2018-20 Higher Education Innovation Fund (HEIF) Awards

In 2018/19, Dr Vicky Randall was awarded £25,000 of HEIF funding by the University to support the set-up of Stormbreak:

  • To develop a cultural change journey for primary schools, working with teachers, senior leaders, initial teacher education providers, academic researchers, cultural change experts (business), sport/health organisations and Dorset CAMHS
  • To develop resources and training for use in schools to support mentally healthy movement activities – ‘stormbreaks’
  • To create a project framework for mentally healthy movement

HEIF Extension Project - Initial Teacher Education

In 2019/20, the University allocated further funding to support an extension project linked to the original Stormbreak HEIF award. The extension project focussed on the teaching workforce and in particular initial teacher education. As a result of this funding the University of Winchester, in collaboration with Stormbreak CIC, developed a seminar for initial teacher education providers and has so far delivered this to 5 higher education providers across England.

Charitable status

The culmination of this project contributed to Stormbreak receiving Charitable status in April 2019 and the development of the ‘Surge’ Professional Development Programme for primary schools. During this first year, funding was also used to support five University of Winchester partnership schools to receive the newly developed ‘Surge’ programme.

Publication reference: Randall, V. (2020) 'The Case for Movement to Support Child Mental health' Physical Education Matters 15(2) pp.10-12

2018/19: All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on a Fit and Healthy Childhood: Report on Mental Health through Movement

In 2018/2019 the University of Winchester collaborated with Bournemouth University to form a working group to write an APPG report on mental health through movement. The report was published in October 2019 and highlighted key policy gaps in relation to physical activity and mental health reform. The report further sign posted Stormbreak (and other projects) as examples of good practice.

Contact us

For further information about Stormbreak, please contact Dr Vicky Randall, Senior Fellow in Knowledge Exchange in the Faculty of Education and the Arts, Co-Convener of the Centre for Professional Learning in Education and Director for Teaching and Learning at Stormbreak.

To contact Stormbreak directly:


Twitter: @hellostormbreak