Why We Are Setting up Our Foundation

At Connections in Mind, one of the struggles we have come across is the lack of awareness about executive functions, the science behind them and how they impact on learning and mental health. To recap – executive functions are the group of complex mental processes and cognitive abilities (such as working memory, impulse inhibition, and reasoning) that control the skills (such as organising tasks, remembering details, managing time, and solving problems) required for goal-directed behaviour.

These are skills we need to flourish in life and poor executive functions can negatively impact on academic achievement, emotional functioning, and job outcomes (Alloway & Alloway, 2010; Miller, Nevado‐Montenegro, & Hinshaw, 2012; Snyder, 2013).

We want to dedicate time and effort to: raising awareness with parents and schools; evaluating approaches to strengthen children and young people’s executive function skills; and initiating innovative projects with children and young people from all backgrounds. We think that launching a charity is the best vehicle for us to be able to achieve these aims which is why in three days time on 14th June when we host a summit exploring what executive functions are and why they are relevant in the 21st century, we will also be launching the Connections in Mind Foundation. There are still tickets available so please book your place here.

What We Will Focus On

Children’s relationships and interactions with their parents and caregivers can impact on the development of these skills and the home environment of children can be viewed as a mediator of the relations between the socio-economic conditions of families and children’s executive function development (Finegood & Blair, 2017).

We are acutely aware of the connections between poor executive function development and low socio-economic status (Fernald, Weber, Galasso, & Ratsifandrihamanana, 2011; Hackman, Gallop, Evans, & Farah, 2015Haft S. L. & Hoeft F. (2017).

When the home environment is negatively impacted by poverty, this can affect the levels of stress in the home and quality of interactions between parents and children. Therefore working with schools, families, children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to improve their executive function skills will be an area of priority for us.

If you would like to support our foundation please consider donating to help us kickstart these projects. In the UK you cannot register as a charity until you have an income of £5000 or more: please help us to raise these funds and set us on our way to helping all children flourish.

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