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Positive mental health promoted in schools

25th March 2019

 “Where’s Your Head At” was the fifth annual collaboration between York City Football Club Foundation and Benenden Health and delivered educational and inspirational sessions to primary school children across the county.

It focused on promoting awareness of social and emotional wellbeing and factors affecting positive mental health; providing the young people with opportunities to discuss their emotions and understand the benefits of physical activity, being outdoors and connecting with others.

With young people’s mental health a hugely topical theme, this has been a resounding success with schools.

The programme launched in September 2018 and has been delivered in 15 schools in North Yorkshire with nearly 1,900 primary school children aged 8-11 benefitting.

Mr Thompson, teacher at St Paul’s Primary said: “Developing healthy bodies and minds is something that’s extremely important to our school.

"The Benenden project is a great initiative that focuses the children’s thoughts on their daily routine and activities using the special diaries provided.

"The project was really well organised and delivered by York City Football Club and all the pupils and teachers thoroughly enjoyed the sessions.”

Pupils and schools were challenged to continue the positive message of spreading kindness in the community by recording simple good deeds in diaries.

The class with the highest number of recorded good deeds was invited to a York City game and the class who presented their good deeds in the most innovative way won a small cash prize for their school.

Paula Stainton, YCFC Foundation manager said: “We were delighted to be able to run our “Doing Good Does You Good” challenge leader board again and were thrilled with how much the schools and families engaged with this.

"What a treat it was to see the winners of the challenge from Riccall Primary School be announced last month and for over 50 pupils and family members to join us as our guests at the Ashton United game to round off their experience.

"For many, it was their first experience of a live football match and they loved it, getting in the spirit of things with their songs and chants and entertaining the other supporters.”

As the culmination of the project, representatives from Benenden Health joined the Foundation staff at Wigginton Primary School last month to present them with the school prize to go towards their choir.

Headteacher Paul Laycock reported how the “Singstars” made an amazing difference in their local community singing at several events around Christmas time, providing enjoyment and smiles all round through concerts, and singing for older residents.

Nikki Taylor, CSR & Engagement Co-ordinator at Benenden Health said: “It is really important to be able to give back to our local community and to reach out to so many children with a light touch on the subject of mental health which unfortunately affects so many young people."

Photo A (above): Children from Riccall Primary School pictured at Bootham Crescent before City's game against Ashton United.

Photo B (below): Children from Wigginton Primary School won a prize for presenting their good deeds in the most innovative way.


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