Wee Seeds has gained support from the Power Up Scotland programme
A mission-led firm that promotes mindfulness from the early years is set to benefit from a programme that offers business mentoring and support.
Wee Seeds, which exists to bring meditation and mindfulness to the early years and promote positive mental health from a young age, was created after founder Christina Cran was diagnosed with Type One diabetes.
Struggling with her diagnosis, both physically and mentally, Christina had started to use a meditation app – within a month she could feel the benefits. But she said: “I realised our son Fin, who was two and a half at the time, was struggling, asking if mum was going to die or be taken to hospital. I wanted to help him but couldn’t find anything specifically aimed at his age group."
And so the idea for Wee Seeds was planted! The Edinburgh based start-up delivers tools to help parents and professionals plant the seeds of positive mental wellbeing in the early years, through mindfulness and meditation techniques.
The social venture recently launched a new website and course, following successful trials with parents and nursery staff over the past few years. It’s also launched trials of its social impact programme to ensure mindfulness for all, by working with other organisations to give-away its resources to families who need them.
The World Health Organisation estimate 20% of young people worldwide experience mental disorders, and this was pre-Covid. It’s expected statistics will paint an even bleaker picture in the light of the pandemic.
Mindfulness has been scientifically proven to improve mental health prospects and research shows that introducing these practices in schools and universities can improve a variety of outcomes, including physical, mental and social wellbeing. This could play a role in preventing depression, anxiety and stress.
Wee Seeds believes the missing link is planting and nurturing these seeds in pre-school children.
Christina said: “Since I first had the idea we’ve gone from strength to strength, growing our early years mindfulness and meditation content, and expanding our reach, all the while testing impact of our wellbeing toolkit.
“From user testing, we know parents and professionals love this product, calling it a ‘mental health vaccination against the challenges kids will face as they grow up, and a ‘preventative tool for developing calm, balance and positive mental wellbeing’.
“We’ve worked hard to develop our social impact programme at the same time, with a group of dedicated volunteers bringing on board four charities, and CICs, to ensure we can deliver on our social promise of mindfulness for all.”
She added: “We’ve laid the groundwork and so we’re delighted to have the support of Power Up Scotland to help us plant solid roots for the future to deliver mindfulness for all, especially post Covid, when we know many of our young people faced challenges that took their toll on their mental health."
Successful applicants to Power Up receive mentoring and business development support, with an opportunity to pitch for long-term funding to create a sustainable future.
Danyal Sattar, chief executive of Big Issue Invest, said: “It is challenging as a social venture to secure early-stage funding. We are, therefore, so pleased, working with our brilliant partners in Scotland, to be able to support these organisations with the investment and business development expertise that they need in order to make an even greater difference.
“We are incredibly excited about working with this year’s Power Up Scotland applicants. The work they do in their communities is incredible and it will be an honour to help them take this further.”