Beano and Place2Be join forces to support children’s mental health

The UK’s longest-running children’s comic partners with leading children’s mental health charity

Dennis, Gnasher, Minnie and all of Beanotown will help children build better mental health through a new partnership, announced today, between top children’s comic Beano and children’s mental health charity Place2Be.

This partnership brings together Beano’s 85 years of expertise in engaging children and Place2Be’s 30 years of expertise in delivering effective mental health support within school communities to support children’s mental wellbeing across the UK.

NHS data shows that 1 in 5 children and young people in England have a diagnosable mental health problem. Without the right support, many continue to have these problems into adulthood. Through this partnership, Beano and Place2Be will provide children and families with advice on how to look after their own mental health – and advice on where to turn if they need additional support.

In their first collaboration, Beano and Place2Be have created a ‘Top tips for children’ resource for Children’s Mental Health Week 2024 – the national initiative run by Place2Be. Available to download now, this resource features peer-to-peer advice (written by primary age children, for primary age children) on looking after your mental health. The Children’s Mental Health Week top tips for children resource features much-loved Beano characters alongside the tips – with a view to making the tips more engaging for children.

Place2Be has been working in partnership in with UK schools since 1994. The charity provides expert school-based support and in-depth training programmes to improve the emotional wellbeing and understanding of mental health among pupils, families, teachers and the wider school community.

On the partnership, Catherine Roche, Chief Executive of Place2Be said:

“We are absolutely thrilled to join forces with the team at Beano to enable us to reach more children and families. This partnership builds on Beano’s great work incorporating mental wellbeing into its storylines. This aligns so well with Place2Be’s mission, helping children, parents and carers to feel more comfortable in having conversations about emotions and feelings in day-to-day life, building resilience and improving longer-term mental health.”

Mike Stirling, Editorial Director at Beano, said:

“We know from speaking to children that reading and laughter help them become more confident, creative, develop more empathy, and achieve better emotional balance. Helping kids laugh and read are what Beano does best, so we are thrilled to be working with Place2Be to continue to support kids’ well-being in a relatable and engaging way.”

Beano has been helping kids navigate life through fun and mischief since 1938. From World Wars to global pandemics, first days of school to getting their first mobile phone, the comic has always been on hand to help kids process emotions and feelings in a fun and engaging way. The Place2Be partnership follows on from a five-year partnership with YoungMinds, which launched the Beano for Schools Bouncebackability programme and annual Britain’s Funniest Class initiative. Beano for Schools provides free, curriculum-linked resources for teachers, which introduce and discuss mental health wellbeing with easy step-by-step lesson plans.

Milestone year for The Courier Business Awards

Firmly established as one of the leading business awards in Scotland, The Courier Business Awards – in partnership with Henderson Loggie – celebrated its tenth birthday on October 28th with its biggest event to date.

Held in Dundee in the grounds of the Apex City Quay Hotel, a record 760 people were in attendance including the Deputy First Minister, Shona Robison and Scottish Labour Leader, Anas Sarwar.

The event received more entries than ever before, with more than 160 submissions from businesses in the local area. Awards were made in 16 categories covering every facet of the local economy, shining a light on the exceptional work being done around Tayside and Fife.

This year’s judging panel was chaired by Mike Soutar (founder of Shortlist magazine) and included David Smith (managing partner at Henderson Loggie), Graham Huband (managing editor of DC Thomson’s newsbrands), Elaine Maddison (chief executive of Brightsolid) and Angela Vickers (chief executive of Apex Hotels).

Top prize went to Carnoustie Golf Links (pictured right) which won business of the year. Despite being hit hard during the pandemic, judges found the business had excelled in the last 12 months and has had its most successful season to date. The business, which operates three golf courses (including the world-famous Championship course), also won the leisure, tourism and hospitality category.

Other awards included Transition to Net Zero (won by Realise Energy Services) recognising progress towards a low carbon economy and greater sustainability, Resilience and Recovery (won by Lass O’Gowrie) reflecting the ongoing economic challenges, and a new Rising Star award for 2023 voted by readers of The Courier, awarded to health coach Shelley Booth.

A Special Recognition trophy was presented in honour of the late John Bullough, founder of Scotland’s Charity Air Ambulance, who died earlier this year aged 54.

Graham Huband said: “Reaching the 10th anniversary milestone of The Courier Business Awards is a proud moment, but it is also an opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved.

“Over the past decade we have shone a light on many of the most interesting and inspiring businesses – and business people – that Courier Country has to offer.

“For those involved in the judging process like me, it has been a truly eye-opening experience – but in absolutely the best sense of that word.

“We have visited every type of business – from heritage family concerns to kitchen table start-ups and global multi-nationals with a significant footprint in Tayside and Fife.

“And, almost without exception, under every stone we have upturned there has been a hidden gem glinting out back at us.

“The Courier Business Awards is about celebrating the amazing success stories on our doorstep, helping build communities and networks and giving voice to a business community which continually punches above its weight.”

Full details of all winners can be found at

Data journalism, video and comic shine light on dementia

DC Thomson’s newsbrands this week launch a major study into the impact of dementia in Scotland, analysing over two decades worth of data, as well as carrying out a number of freedom of information enquiries. The project includes deep dives into the data region by region, video case studies, and a comic has also been created for children to better understand the condition.

Running in The Courier, The Press and Journal from today and in The Sunday Post from this weekend, the research carried out by DC Thomson’s data team shows that deaths linked to dementia have more than tripled across Scotland since 2000.

It also reports the huge rise in self-funded nursing care and that women in Scotland are almost twice as likely to die from dementia than men. It finds too that 2023 saw a record high for dementia patients delayed in leaving hospital due to the availability of care home beds.

The accompanying comic, ‘My Granny is a Time Traveller’, is designed to help children understand why an elderly relative may be forgetting things. It’s downloadable online as well as being made available in a four-page pullout in DC Thomson’s news titles. The writer of the comic recently lost his grandmother to dementia and in a fitting tribute, the story is dedicated to her.

The work is an example of DC Thomson’s commitment to collaboration and innovation, and how being insight-led is driving journalism with impact and producing compelling content that resonates with communities.

Head of Data Journalism, Lesley-Anne Kelly, who led on the research, said: “It’s a true collaboration between reporters, data journalists, graphic artists, comic writers, the print team, the AV team, SEO and social media specialists and many more beyond.

“It’s a privilege to work somewhere where we’re allowed the creative freedom to take an idea and achieve such an ambitious goal, and we hope our readers see the passion that went into it.”

The investigation is in The Courier here and here.

The investigation is in The Press and Journal here and here.

The comic strip can be read here.

Minnie causing mischief in the 2023/24 storm name list 

Minnie causing mischief in the 2023/24 storm name list 

Met Office and Beano are up for mischief, as Minnie the Minx gets her own storm. The comic character has been included in the Met Office’s official list of storm names for the 2023/24 season. 

The collaboration between Met Office and Beano comes as Minnie the Minx celebrates her 70th anniversary later this year and Met Office is preparing for their 170th birthday in 2024. 

Minnie  kicked up a hilarious storm last week in a special comic story, raising awareness of what actions to take before, during and after a storm. Children  also learned about the Met Office storm names, created to keep people safe and #WeatherReady when it matters the most.  

The special comic story shows Minnie ‘charming’ the Met Office team to get her name on the list after her anger that Dennis had a storm named after him in 2020. After picking up a ‘how to prepare for a storm’ leaflet, Minnie gets to work with the help of a bunch of other Beano stars to keep everyone safe so her storm doesn’t hurt anyone. 

The comic also features a special ‘Storm Dodge’ strip where Roger is seen skilfully getting out of helping Mum and Dad prepare for the arrival of Storm Minnie.  

Met Office Associate Director of Communications, Dave Britton, who leads communication in times of severe weather, said: “This is the ninth year of us naming storms and we do it because it works. We’re delighted to work closely with Minnie and everyone at Beano again to help get our safety messages to their loyal readers. 

“Whether it is tying down garden toys, making sure you’re stocked up on your favourite food or checking on your neighbours, we hope our advice can help children make better decisions for themselves, but also provide them with the right messages to keep their family and friends safe too.”  

Mike Stirling, Beano’s Director of Mischief, said: “Minnie is a force of nature herself, so having her own storm came naturally, especially after she found out that a storm was named after Dennis a few years ago. Kids will love this hilarious story, and we’re happy to join Met Office in their mission, by sharing essential information in a fun way with children all over the country.” 

Comic creativity – BBC Teach and Beano team up to give teachers new free resources

Beano and the BBC have joined forces to help primary school teachers share the secrets of comic creation with their pupils. The new Beano – how to create a comic set of resources provide a step-by-step guide to help children to make their own comic; from creating characters to constructing worlds to developing stories.

Three classroom videos, featuring our Beano Studios mischief makers, Mike Stirling, Ed Stockham, Rhiannon Tate and Craig Graham, introduce children to visualising characters as stick people, creating a story mountain, and building a soundscape with words like ‘clang’ or ‘squelch’.

Hosted on BBC Teach, the home of thousands of free curriculum-mapped classroom videos, the new resources are rooted in Beano’s 85 years expertise in comics and creativity.  the free videos are designed for teachers to use with their primary classes at Key Stage 2, 2nd Level and Progression steps 2 and 3 across the UK. They include everything needed to create a comic as part of a whole class project. The resources are accompanied by teacher notes, templates (thought balloons, head shapes and story mountains) as well as a specially designed comic book layout.

The videos come as part of the Beano for Schools initiative, providing teachers with comics and related resources to help children enjoy reading and support the teaching of English and Art and Design/Expressive arts. The videos have been designed in collaboration with BBC Teach to help children explore similes, alliteration and onomatopoeia; understand narrative development; how to combine graphics as well as lettering and visual imagery.

Mike Stirling, Beano’s Director of Mischief, said: “Bringing laughter and creativity to the classroom has been our mission ever since we launched Beano for Schools, in 2018. The collaboration with BBC Teach will get kids’ creative juices flowing, and we hope it will inspire a brilliant new generation of comic creators. We can’t wait to see what creative mischief these videos unleash.”

Alex Harris, Executive Producer at BBC Teach, added: “These resources are a unique opportunity to hear directly from the creative genius behind Beano. Designed to support teachers and engage learners, we hope these fun resources will get children creating thousands of comic strips and help develop a new generation of comic creatives.”

To access Beano – how to create a comic, visit: