Reverse The Trend Foundation

Reverse The Trend Foundation

At a glance


  • Children / families
  • Education
  • Health and well being / research and care
  • Mental health
  • Young people

Other details

Geographical remit: 
National - Britain


Reverse the Trend Foundation helps children aged 4-16 create healthy habits around mental and physical health. We have developed a behavioural science programme, teaching children how their brains and bodies respond to fear, anxiety and impulsiveness and what actions they can take to manage responses and reactions.

We run a neuroscience based programme called Neuronimo with Ambassadors who visit schools. Children carry out fun goal orientated tasks which - when repeated - start to create a healthy habit. The programme includes school visits from inspirational ambassadors, delivering interactive activities grounded in neuroscience, to increase understanding of how brains work, how emotions are formed and can be managed. The Ambassadors initiate the 'Challenge programme' in which children complete 156 challenges, building repetition of healthy habits in a fun, interactive manner. This repetition connects a behaviour to many areas of the brain, cementing changes in habits.

Guided by health intelligence, we focus our work in areas of high social deprivation and health inequalities. When we work in an area, we work with a whole class or a whole school, removing stigmatisation and equipping children with essential skills to maintain mental and physical health. We offer a main programme with area specific bolt ons. For example in areas of London with high incidence of knife crimes we add on impulse control work with young people, in more rural areas we add on social isolation work.

Over 30,000 children are already familiar with Neuronimo from its pilot in 2018 and test case programmes delivered in 2019 (one funded by the National Lottery for 13-16 year olds across London to develop impulse control targeting knife-crime. Our pilot with 20,000 children showed positive outcomes around increased sleep, increased physical activity, higher water, fruit and veg intake and higher mood scores.


Children and young people make up a third of the population of our country and their health and wellbeing is a top priority, but our young people are increasingly exposed to two childhood epidemics – obesity and mental distress.

The UK has one of the highest levels of childhood obesity in Europe with a quarter of four year olds presenting as obese and over a third of 10 years olds presenting as obese. Inequalities across the country are widening, as evidenced by the launch of the IFS Deaton review into inequalities and the recent Marmot report – Health equity in England – 10 years on. We know that health outcomes are worsening (this population of children, has, for the first time a lowered life expectancy in comparison to their parents’ generation) and these are more starkly seen in areas of higher deprivation. Obesity rates are highest in the most deprived 10% of the population, more than twice that of the least deprived 10% of the population. Obesity is associated with poor psychological and emotional health, and many children experience bullying linked to their weight. Children living with obesity are more likely to become adults living with obesity and have a higher risk of morbidity, disability and premature mortality in adulthood.

Every year, one young person in ten experiences a mental health problem. They include depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, and are often a direct response to what is happening in their lives. The most common mental health problem affecting children are conduct disorders (severe and persistent behavioural problems). These problems are around twice as likely to be experienced by boys/young men than girls/young women.

Severe and persistent behavioural problems starting before secondary school years which go unsupported can have long term impact on children’s mental health and life chances.
Children from low-income families are 4 times more likely to experience mental health problems than children from higher-income families. At any one time, a child or young person may be anywhere on a spectrum between being healthy, coping, struggling and unwell. Many children move along the spectrum at different times. Alarmingly, however, 70% of children and young people who experience a mental health problem have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.

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