Northampton mental health programme celebrates ‘trio of triumphs’ at national teaching awards

A mental health programme that has impacted nearly 30,000 children in 50 schools across Northampton and beyond has beaten off thousands of applicants and won a national teaching award and been recognised in two other categories.

The LightBulb Mental Health Wellness Programme, which is delivered by staff from the St Andrew’s Healthcare’s Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) College, scooped the Silver Award in the Impact Through Partnership category at the annual Pearson National Teaching Awards.  St Andrew’s Healthcare is part of the Best of Both Worlds recruitment campaign to attract healthcare professionals to live and work in Northamptonshire.

The team were named the winners of the prestigious award for their “outstanding commitment to changing the lives of the children they work with every day” at an afternoon event held at Workbridge, which was attended by Councillor Stephen Hibbert, the new Mayor of Northampton.

In addition, CAMHS Headteacher and LightBulb Founder Cheryl Smith was named a runner-up in the Headteacher of the Year in a Secondary School category and the LightBulb team were Highly Commended for the Excellence for Special Needs Education prize.

LightBulb, which was created to help young people understand and identify mental ill-health and the different feelings and thoughts they may experience as they grow up, has now been shortlisted to win one of just 16 Gold Awards.

The winners will be announced and celebrated at a gala ceremony in London on 25 November and televised on the BBC, with winners showcased on The One Show.

The Pearson National Teaching Awards celebrates excellence in education and is run by the Teaching Awards Trust, who aim to recognise the life-changing work that takes place in education. It aims to highlight the vital role educators play and the work that’s delivered in schools and colleges every day.


Michael Morpurgo, author, former Children’s Laureate, and President of the Teaching Awards Trust, said: “I am inspired by the devotion of teachers and the huge impact they have on the lives of the young people they tutor, support, encourage and motivate day in and day out.

“The valuable role they play both inside and outside the classroom has inspired generations of young people across the country to achieve their potential. I am delighted to congratulate the winners of the 2023 Awards and thank them all for the amazing contributions they have made to our communities.”


The initiative also provides participating schools with the skills and support so they can demonstrate and showcase excellence regarding mental health practice.


Sharon Hague, Senior Vice President of Schools at Pearson UK, added: “We would like to congratulate today’s Silver winners on their incredible achievements. We can’t underestimate the huge contribution schools make to our young people’s lives, and the LightBulb programme is an inspiring example of the positive impact an individual can have on pupils and communities.”


St Andrew’s Healthcare Dr Vivienne McVey said: “We’re thrilled that our CAMHS College and LightBulb programme has been recognised and been named Silver Award winners. We’re extremely proud of the team who truly deserve their trio of triumphs that we’ve picked up.

“The LightBulb team is so passionate about prevention and ensuring our young people understand that our mental health is just as important as our physical health. As a Charity, we really believe in what we’re delivering and clearly lots of schools agree with us as we’ve now delivered the programme to thousands of children across Northampton and beyond.”

“I would like to congratulate Cheryl and her team for these wonderful accolades and for all the hard work they do in ensuring schools and parents have the skills and resources to take good care of our children’s young minds.”


LightBulb is an initiative that is available all year round and provides the participating school with mental health awareness and support training for all school staff as well as sessions for both parents and students. Each session talks about symptoms, support and signposts resources.

The LightBulb programme is suitable for both primary and secondary schools up and down the country. St Andrew’s Healthcare is a charity and therefore the programme is not a profit-making initiative, which means the pricing structure has been created to ensure it is affordable to all schools:


Primary school with up to 200 students    £200

Primary schools with over 200 students    £400

Secondary Schools                                         £800

For more information or to sign up to the LightBulb Roadshow email

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