Tuesday, 02 March 2021

Otis the puppy helps keeps students happy

Otis the puppy helps keeps students happy

STUDENTS at The Henley College took part in a series of events as part of a mental health awareness week.

The college has received a £8,144 grant from the Henley Educational Trust to spend on the wellbeing and mental health of students.

The “RAMPS week” was the idea of Kathryn Caulfield, who is the head of student services and safeguarding.

She said: “I wanted to do a week to focus on wellbeing and resilience. Young people are facing so much more pressure than we did, so we need to make sure they are prepared when they leave us.

“It is not that more students have mental health problems but more people are comfortable talking about it. With young people having access to social media, sometimes there is no way to escape it.”

RAMPS short for resilience, anxiety, mental health, prevent and strategy.

As part of the college’s efforts to improve wellbeing, it has bought a black Labrador puppy called Otis, who will visit students twice a week.

The week started by focusing on exercise and students were challenged to achieve 10,000 steps.

Steve Wright, of Routes Puppets, taught students about crime prevention using his puppet Shifty.

He also took part in a discussion along with Mayor Ken Arlett, Colin Homent, chairman of the Henley Educational Trust, and Maureen Smith, who is a trustee.

The student leadership group organised a car wash in aid of MIND, a mental health charity.

The week finished on Friday with the focus on healthy eating. Tesco donated smoothies

Principal Satwant Deol said: “I would like to thank the trust for highlighting the issues of mental health and what you can do to help improve it. I would like to be able to bring more drama into the curriculum so that children have more opportunities to engage socially. I want students to feel like they can talk to me any time.”

Above, students with Henley Mayor Ken Arlett, Steve Wright and members of the Henley Educational Trust.

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