Carrick College taking ‘healthy steps’

Mrs McIlwrath with her senior school helpers and some charity representatives at the Carrick College Health Event.
Mrs McIlwrath with her senior school helpers and some charity representatives at the Carrick College Health Event.

Carrickfergus College have embraced ‘Take 5 Steps to Wellbeing’ with support from South Antrim Community Network

Carrickfergus College are very aware of their pupils’ emotional health and how that can impact on their capacity for learning. The College have a very experienced and caring pastoral team made up of Form Teachers, Heads of Year, and Vice Principals who are linked with pupils throughout their time at the College, they believe Pastoral Care and emotional health and wellbeing is everyone’s responsibility.

Health Coordinator, Mrs McIlwrath made contact with South Antrim Community Network (SACN) seek guidance on how best to promote

the Take 5 Steps message to students which resulted in the College, in partnership with SACN, hosting a special event for the entire school.

It was coordinated by SACN’s Suicide Prevention Development Officer and NICHI Officer, alongside sixth form pupils, and focussed on creative mediums to engage the pupils such as a healthy cooking demonstration by Urban Community Chef, a silent disco for meditation, a friendly hula hoop and a plank challenge.

In addition, a number of local support services in attendance to help inform pupils of available resources within Carrickfergus, such as Carrick YMCA, The Relationship Resource Centre, Lifeline, Start 360 and PSNI.

All pupils within the school had the opportunity to attend the event and connect with service providers.

Janine Gaston, Suicide Prevention Development Officer, said: “The enthusiasm of Carrickfergus College to raise awareness of

emotional health and wellbeing has been refreshing. The school’s approach to identifying EHWB needs is to be commended. SACN were only too pleased to work alongside the Health Coordinator and sixth form pupils to plan, coordinate and facilitate an excellent Take 5 awareness event. We look forward to future projects within the school”.

Health Coordinator Andrea McIlwrath said: “The 5 Steps to Wellbeing Event was a huge success and pupils from Year Eight to Year 14 thoroughly enjoyed it!”

Thanks were extended to sixth form pupils for the enthusiasm they brought to the event, the sponsors and the organisations who attended and the support, funding and expertise of from SACN, and Eurospar and Tesco for providing free fruit for all pupils.