Extra Curricular

Wellfest 2024: ‘university fair’ style event on Wellbeing

Wellfest 2024: ‘university fair’ style event on Wellbeing
2nd Feb 2024
Written by ASM

At Southborough, we deliver a robust PDT curriculum designed to engage with mental health. Students from all year groups are nominated to become Mental Health Ambassadors and the school marks Mental Health Awareness Week with a rigorous programme of assemblies, lessons and talks. In January 2023, we launched ‘Wellfest’, our first ‘mental health event’, bringing together a wide range of charities, organisations and clubs. Organisations provided practical help, advice and counselling to those suffering from mental health issues. Others focused on maintaining positive mental health and preventing issues from arising.

Building on last year’s success, ‘WellFest 2024' - which took place on Thursday 25 January -  saw even more service providers taking part and a greater number of students from the local schools visited. Both the Mayor and the local MP for Kingston, Mr Ed Davey, attended, too. Finally, the whole event received greater attention and coverage on local radio (Radio Jackie) and social media.

Treatment and Prevention

The event was split into two basic disciplines, namely TREATMENT and PREVENTION.

There were plenty of organisations present that were there to offer practical support, treatment and advice to visitors as well and included the Samaritans, Papyrus, Kooth, Mindfulness in Schools Project, The Grace Dear Trust and Achieving for Children.

In addition to our own P.E department, we also had a great number of organisations & clubs present focusing on a wide range of activities designed to engage, inspire and promote good wellbeing. These included yoga, photography, chess, samba band, Cadets, Endeavour Explorer Scouts, Scout and Guide Bands, Warhammer, drawing clubs -and even a creative nail bar!

All 950 students from Southborough were given the opportunity to visit ‘Wellfest’. Physics Teacher and Mental Health Lead Practitioner Mr Punter, together with a key group of Sixth Formers and Mental Health Student Ambassadors, worked tirelessly to secure the success of the day. In all, ‘Wellfest’ benefited in excess of 1200 primary and secondary pupils, staff, parents and carers.

Research undertaken by the school suggested that a significant number of students were unsure of where to go for help regarding their mental health. ‘Wellfest’ gave visitors the unique opportunity to engage face-to-face with experts, gaining valuable insights and advice on seeking help and/or nurturing their mental wellbeing. Students secured the tools and strategies to build resilience, enhance self-care, forge connections with like-minded peers and provide support for those struggling.

We received the following feedback from one of our visiting primary schools:

“We had a fantastic time and really enjoyed seeing all the charities and groups coming together to help children have positive mental health and develop a growth mindset…[the different stalls] inspired us to come back with ideas that we would like to share at our school during Children’s Mental Health Week to support others’ mental health.”.

As is always the case, events like this do not just ‘happen’ and we’d like to say a huge thank you to Mr Punter and his team of helpers who worked tirelessly to make this event take place and be the success it truly was.

You can listen to the Wellfest 2024 interview  -featuring Mr Punter and Sixth Former Luke T on Radio Jackie by clicking on the link