How being a stormbreak Champion helped me


I first started volunteering with stormbreak during my bronze DofE award. During this time, I volunteered as a stormbreak champion. After learning about stormbreak and their approach, I worked with the team to write some of my own stormbreaks and I filmed some aimed at primary school age but also a few for the transition between primary and secondary school.

 As the target age group got older, I altered the language to suit the older children better. I later took this further and wrote an ‘exam anchor stormbreak’ that aimed to help any young child through exams they might be sitting whether it be SATs, GCSEs or any other exam.  I also went into a secondary school to deliver a stormbreak and realised that the children enjoyed having somebody of a similar age to chat to about mental health. I felt it was really important to ensure the children felt comfortable and confident when talking about mental health as, during my time at school, it had become a slightly taboo topic that was difficult to talk about even with close friends. 

Whilst I really enjoyed delivering stormbreaks to younger children, I also came to realise the huge benefit that this volunteering work had had on my own mental health. A major difference for me was my ability to vocalise my feelings and rationalise them; I know that it is okay to feel big feelings and to let them in. It is okay to spend time within those feelings and to know that I won’t feel this way forever. Understanding my own feelings has helped to understand the feelings of those around me. 

I have never been the most sympathetic person but working with stormbreak has taught me that sometimes just listening to someone is all they need, getting a pair of ears and smiley face from someone is often very comforting. One of the biggest things that I have taken from this experience, however, is that everybody needs a different form of support. I am very stubborn and like to deal with things my own way, this means that I like to have somebody listen as I vent but I often don’t want solutions. Others, however, may just want to be hugged or to be cheered up or to work it out together. 

If stormbreak had been available to me whilst I was a child, I think it would have helped me in many ways. When I was in primary school, I really struggled to sleep at night which made me feel anxious causing me to stay awake so it became a cycle of not sleeping so feeling anxious so not sleeping etc. Having stormbreak would first of all have taught me that it is normal to feel anxious and it’s okay to feel worried. Second of all, it would have shown me ways to get out of this cycle and allow me to calm down. As every child does in school, I often fell out with my friends and at the time it felt huge and like the end of the world. Looking back now, I know that that was normal and by the next day we were all friends again, however, in the moment, stormbreak would have shown me that it’s okay to play with other people sometimes and it’s okay to spend some time by myself. 

I am now 18 and still live by the stormbreak approach today, knowing that when I do experience big emotions, they are normal and I will wake up tomorrow feeling much better, knowing that it is okay to feel these big emotions and that there are people I can speak to. With A levels just around the corner, I feel overwhelmed, worried, anxious and stressed a lot of the time, AND THAT’S OKAY.  

I was extremely proud to play my part as a stormbreak champion and I hope that my involvement might help other children as they make their journey through childhood. 

-Bria Bone, stormbreak champion


Watch some of Bria’s videos:

Exam Anchor,
a resilience stormbreak

Exam Anchor stormbreak

Watch Exam Anchor

Monkey Mind,
a hope and optimism stormbreak

Monkey Mind stormbreak

Watch Monkey Mind