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 Young VIPs graduate from the Bounce Resilience Academy


The red carpet was rolled out as ten excited children bounced into Police HQ last night for a special graduation ceremony.
The BOUNCE Resilience Academy VIPs were joined by their families and guardians for the final event of the unique programme which aims to provide young people with the skills to understand how their brains work, manage their emotions and develop personal resilience.
The specially selected children, all aged between five and nine and from the Darlington area, were nominated by their teachers and each received a golden ticket inviting them to take part in the programme.
Led by Director, Hannah Bell, who runs the programme with several volunteers and officers from Darlington Police, the youngsters took part in weekly sessions over the summer with activities designed to help them find new ways to deal with their feelings and reach their full potential.
Characters known as The Brainy Bunch were also a regular feature as they brought to life the different chemicals in our brains and how they impact on our wellbeing, combining neuroscience with play to enhance their physical and mental health.
These were used throughout the project and were regular attendees which the children loved.
Other fun activities included alpaca therapy, musical sessions, arts, crafts, yoga and drama workshops which gave the children more confidence and allowed them to explore different emotions to enable them to ‘bounce back’ when faced with life’s potential challenges.
Last night they turned out in their finest attire for the special event which recognised all their achievements as they formally graduated from the scheme.
Special guests included Chief Constable Jo Farrell and Mayor of Darlington, Councillor Nick Wallis who presented the children with their awards.
The BOUNCE Resilience Academy Oscars – or BOSCARS as they were named – also went down a storm with special awards for both the children and volunteers who received their very own award along with their goody bag.
Hannah Bell, a former sergeant for the force, said she was delighted to deliver the programme which was established in 2016 as part of her business, Hannah Bell Clarity.
She said: “Every year brings remarkable personal change for our young people and the team who help deliver the project.
“It is a privilege to receive the continued support from Durham Constabulary and the Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner.”
Jo Farrell added: “This piece of work is truly inspirational and captures the essence of the Durham Difference.
“This is a project with a difference and the confidence in the children here tonight is wonderful to see.”
The programme was funded by the office of the Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg following a nomination by the Community Safety Partnership and Chief Superintendent Adrian Green.
Chief Supt Green, who attended the graduation, said he was blown away by the children’s achievements.
Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg said: “The Bounce Academy fulfils an important role, providing a life-changing experience for young people from Darlington.
“It’s clear to see that the children and volunteers have flourished from the experience and I’m delighted that they enjoyed the awards evening and recognition that they so rightly deserve.”