Mental Health and Wellbeing
Allenton Community Primary School's wellbeing event attracted over 200 visitors
Allenton Community Primary School, a school in the heart of Derby, opened its doors to host a transformative Wellbeing Event on Monday 12th February. The event provided an opportunity to start conversations and make connections around mental health and wellbeing within the local community. The aim of the event was to bridge gaps in understanding and provide information about where to go for support and guidance.
Organisations Bridge the Gap and Place2Be with Mayor of the City of Derby, Alan Graves, Liam Williams, and attendees to the event
Representatives from 24 organisations attended and were able to meet with over 200 visitors. The Right Worshipful Mayor of the City of Derby, Alan Graves, came along to show his support and admiration for this community initiative. Other visitors included parents and carers of pupils at the school, pre-school children, pupils from secondary education and families from across Derby. Their collective presence highlighted the need for such an event and there was an encouraging sense of ease and reassurance as the conversations flowed throughout the afternoon.
Amelia Elliott, from the local community, said "I heard about the event and came along not really knowing what to expect. I’m so glad I did as I have learned so much about the kind of support that is available on my doorstep. I just didn’t realise there were so many organisations that could offer families the advice and support they need.”
Emona, her son Daryn, and The Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Service team.
Emona, mother of Loreta (age 6) who attends Allenton Community Primary School and 2-year old Daryn attended the event to talk to experts from The Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Service. As a Latvian family, she was feeling increasing concern around her son’s speech development and was worried that he might have been struggling to learn Latvian and English at the same time. Julie Keogh, visiting SENCO, was able to reassure her and offer practical advice.
Emona said “As a mother with English as a second language, I sometimes feel a little overwhelmed especially around my children’s speech and language development. My daughter is thriving at school and we have had so much support, but my little boy just doesn’t seem to be speaking as much as his peers. I was encouraged to come along today to talk to the experts and I’m so glad I did. I was immediately reassured that he’s where he should be and that we shouldn’t compare him to others. I’ve also been told about the various stages of development and help along the way, should we need it, so I feel so much better about it all.”
The event provided a platform for lively discussion about stress management and mental health support between visitors and those representing local services. The team from Bridge the Gap, a charity with the focus of improving children’s mental health, said "We had meaningful conversations with many people today about coping mechanisms within the home and how to go about accessing professional support. It is all about starting the conversation and letting people know that they do have somewhere to go to get the support they need, especially when they are feeling vulnerable. This is a vibrant, caring community and it’s a privilege to be able to be here today to share our work and offer this support.”
Similarly, Place2Be, founders of Children’s Mental Health Week, highlighted the importance of early intervention with mental health issues and emphasised the importance of national spotlights, such as Children’s Mental Health Week, that help break down the stigma around wellbeing.
Compass Changing Lives are actively working with Allenton Primary School. A mental health support charity for children and young people in Derby and Derbyshire, it is planning some valuable sessions with the school’s Year 6 pupils to help navigate the stressful SATS exam period. This is an excellent example of the type of much-needed, practical help that is available.
Andrew Sharp, Executive Headteacher at Allenton Community Primary School, emphasised both the school and Transform Trust’s dedication to promoting wellbeing and mental health awareness and support across their communities. He stated "At Allenton, we prioritise our children's holistic development, ensuring they have the support and resources needed to thrive mentally and emotionally. Our school even has ‘community’ in its name and we are genuinely a wellbeing hub for our parents and carers. It is wonderful to see this level of community engagement between all of the services here today. I am so proud of Liam, our School Operations Manager & Mental Health and Wellbeing Lead and the staff team that have made this possible. For us, it will always be about joining up the conversations between school, families and family services so that we can help to improve the lives of the people in our community and today’s event is a brilliant way of doing just that."
Liam Williams said, “What can I say… I am over the moon with the turnout. I’m so glad that our families and families have really benefited. I know that all of our organisations were heartened by the conversations today. Based on today’s successes, I’m sure we will do this as a regular event going forwards.”