Levelling Up Health and Wellbeing

Roots to Wellbeing

Improving the Wellbeing of SEN Children and their Families

Roots to Wellbeing CIC are a non for profit dedicated to health (mental, emotional, cognitive and physical) as well as community capacity building, to empower and support all community members to thrive. Based in Harlow, Roots to Wellbeing have developed a close working relationship with Active Essex since 2018, which strengthened further throughout the Summer 2021 as they became an Essex ActivAte programme provider, delivering SEND and Mental Wellbeing support for eligible families and young people.

Active Essex and Essex County Council recognised that some children require additional support or a calmer environment and funded several providers, such as Roots to Wellbeing to ensure the need was met. Working with the founder of Roots to Wellbeing, Tara Whittle, they developed a person centred, wellbeing and activity club to address gaps in service provision, especially within school holidays and after school, throughout Harlow. The Roots to Wellbeing offer has helped participants and their families in rebuilding confidence and trust, and helped to ensure there is the support they need.


Group 1
Who's it for?
SEND children aged 5-12, and their families living in Harlow
Goal 1
Prime Objective:
to create a safe, inclusive, and supportive service
Goal 2
Second Objective:
to develop skills & techniques to release stress, anxiety and fear

Roots to Wellbeing have a range of service users and participants from many nationalities, cultures, and religions, including those who may need support to communicate. For many of their participants, isolation, communication needs and learning difficulties presents a barrier for these young people to engage with other services.

After school Essex ActivAte sessions have been accessed by SEND children and those experiencing emotional, behavioural and mental health challenges. Hosted at the Town Park and Parndon Woods, Roots to Wellbeing have provided a safe outlet for young people to get active, focusing on the needs for the children.

I don’t know what we would do without these sessions, it has been so tough with our Son’s diagnosis and finding ways to support him. We are really grateful for the SEND clubs and the family provision as well as the afterschool / term time initiatives. Learning ways to support our children’s behaviour and emotions have been a lifeline.
Mother of young participant
children aged 5-12 attend the Essex ActivAte SEND sessions at one time
SEND families have gained support through Essex ActivAte
families have been supported through Roots to Wellbeing additional

Tara and her team have been able to support SEND families through the outreach of assessments and ensuring parents/carers have the insight and knowledge into their child’s SEND needs. They have developed strategies and support to help both the child and their families in understanding their behaviour.

We have been developing our offer, and with the support of Active Essex, they have helped us receive funding for projects as the year has progressed. With the ratio we need for the SEND groups we could not have contemplated this in the past and the building of these services was a dream we had for some time. We have been able to look at the needs of the growing community and each child on an individual basis and that inspired us to apply for the Capital funding to further develop the Learning Centre space which will start this year.
Tara Whittle, Founder of Roots to Wellbeing