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SFG College: Daily walks lead to 100km challenge

Education: Secondary / Fri 26th Mar 2021 at 11:34am

DAILY walks in lockdown have inspired three teachers to take on a physical challenge to promote positive mental health to their children.

The colleagues from Sir Frederick Gibberd College, in Harlow, began enjoying walks after work during the pandemic to clear their heads and get fresh air.

Katy Tyler, pastoral lead, Claire Tidd, head of Year 8, and Cheree Leverington, assistant headteacher, found their daily 10km walks had a positive impact on their own wellbeing.

They have since upped their steps and are walking for several hours at a time.

They now plan on taking on their biggest challenge yet, walking a 100km route from London to Brighton to raise funds for MIND.

The charity provides services and support to students at Sir Frederick Gibberd and their families.

Mrs Tyler said: “The wait for mental health support is so lengthy as funding is continuously cut from these vital services. In the current climate, mental health issues are on the up and children are suffering. We want to provide as much effective support as possible.

“Lockdown has brought up a range of emotions in our children; some struggled being at home and not seeing their friends and losing their routine. They expressed feeling lonely, anxious and scared. Others thrived at home and have struggled to return to school and are suffering separation anxiety from their care givers. Of course, bereavement and grief has also affected some of our students.

“We are all novices when it comes to this walking event, but are all passionate about the wellbeing of our students. We want to lead by example to show our children that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. 

“We all found an enjoyment for walking in lockdown when we had to find simple pleasures. We continuously work to build resilience and self-belief in our children and hope we are demonstrating that by taking on this challenge.”

MIND offers the school talking therapy for children, helping them to understand their feelings and learn techniques and coping mechanisms. 

The charity also offers parent to parent support for families.

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