Given the growth of Book of Beasties, and its plans to develop the scope of its Mental Health and Wellness offer into homes alongside providing a digital data platform; Former Teacher, Economist and Education Adviser, Oisín Bishenden has taken the reins of the award-winning children’s mental health provider. This follows Oisín’s previous role within the company as Director, Education Specialist and Editor of Education Content.
Book of Beasties, a developer of play-based mental health interventions and resources for children, has appointed a new Chief Executive Officer, Oisín Bishenden.
Co-founder and former CEO, Phil Tottman will continue to work in the company in the role of Director of Development where he will lead the development of Book of Beasties innovations.
Oisín brings with him a wealth of knowledge of the Education Sector. During his teaching practice, Oisín specialised in working with children across socio-economic backgrounds and with a wide range of behavioral needs. Alongside leading Book of Beasties, he also works as an Education Adviser for the country’s leading provider of formative assessment where he supports a host of Multi-Academy Trusts in the planning, implementation and interpretation of their assessment strategies and particular areas of SEN provision.
On the current situation in the UK for children’s Mental Health and Well-being, Oisín commented, “Making it through the lock down period, and school closures, was only the beginning for our country’s children; now the task of supporting them as they adapt back into schools and come to terms with the dramatic upheavals they have faced begins.
Now, more than ever, the link between pupil, parent and teacher is crucial to the development of emotional literacy and ensuring mental health. I believe our mental wellness card game and associated resources are perfectly placed to support schools and parents in this through a play-based approach to tackling the potential mental health crisis faced by the U.K’s young people.”
“We are doubling down on this through our Playful Minds Campaign which seeks ring-fenced funding for play-based Mental Health provision in schools. We have committed to providing free training and intervention resources to 500 schools at our own expense and will be engaging with the Mayor of London, MPs, and other political figures to seek support in safeguarding children effected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this endeavor we are happy to collaborate with any businesses or charities working across the sector.
We have recently developed our market share multiplying the number of schools we support whilst engaging with charities in their provision to specialised young audiences and now working with a range of local councils to deploy our intervention solution much more broadly across the U.K.”
Oisín will take leadership as Book of Beasties seeks academic validation of the value it adds to the Mental Wellness of pupils through a study with the School of Psychology at UWL. This follows the completion of a successful pilot study conducted by Dr Michelle Jayman and Dr Annita Ventouris in 2019, who will continue to lead this more in-depth research.
Co-Founder Tom Dryland, and the aforementioned, Phil Tottman said: “We and the rest of our team are pleased for Oisín to be stepping in, we know he will be the driving force we need to take us to the next level of growth, allowing us to support more children around the U.K and beyond during this pivotal time for the Mental Well-being of young people.”
Also taking on new responsibility within the company is Penelope Diaz Manso who will now act as Head of Sales, taking overall responsibility for the planning and implementation of Book of Beasties Marketing and Sales strategy.
Penelope commented “As an experienced salesperson, in the Education Sector, and a parent of a 10-year-old child, I can clearly see the potential and benefit of implementing The Mental Wellness Card Game in schools and homes. I am delighted to be part of a company that is committed to helping as many teachers, parents, and pupils as possible to overcome this Mental Health Crisis."