Focus-Trust goes above and beyond for Mental Health Awareness Week

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North West and West Yorkshire Trust Focus-Trust is hosting a range of activities once again, going the extra mile to promote Mental Health Awareness Week this May.

CEO Helen Rowland recently participated in a roundtable discussion led by Forum Strategy with charities and businesses from across England where strategies for addressing mental health challenges among children were explored.

For the second year running, Helen will be talking to Year 6 children and giving them a MY Wellbeing key ring in readiness for their transition to high school.

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The key rings are made by the family of Matthew Young, a family friend of Helen. Tragically Matthew ended his life by suicide in September 2020 aged 17 years. The MY Wellbeing keyring displays the message that there is always someone to talk to and valuable phone numbers of organisations to ring for support.

MY Wellbeing key ringMY Wellbeing key ring
MY Wellbeing key ring

All 700 Year 6 pupils will come together for a live assembly with Helen, where she will encourage an open and honest conversation around mental health awareness and the positive benefits of physical activity.

Throughout Mental Health Awareness Week pupils and staff across the trust will participate in "Walk and Talks," with some already surpassing the goal of walking the length of the. These activities promote physical activity while providing opportunities for meaningful conversations about mental health.

Beyond Mental Health Awareness Week, Focus-Trust places a special emphasis on prioritising mental health throughout the year. Pupil Parliamentarians at Roundthorn Primary Academy, Oldham will lead an assembly on mental health and all schools offer resources to families to address gaps left by other agencies.

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In an inspiring display of dedication, Higher Level Teaching Assistant, Dave Town, from Wilsden Primary School will embark on a monumental challenge in July.

Dave will run over 104 miles (the equivalent of 4 marathons) over 3 days from Rudheath Primary Academy, Northwich to Wilsden Primary School, calling in at all 15 schools along the way. This incredible feat aims to raise funds for PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide a charity with a personal connection to the trust

Each school within the trust will endeavour to run/walk a distance, cheering Dave on and raising funds for Papyrus. This collective effort reflects Focus-Trust's unwavering commitment to supporting mental and physical health initiatives and giving back to the community.

Helen Rowland, CEO of Focus-Trust, said: “We know that mental and physical health are important every single day and Mental Health Awareness Week is a chance to shine a spotlight on them.

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In Focus-Trust we’ve tried hard to create a culture where colleagues and children feel safe to talk about their feelings without being judged or discriminated. We need to keep creating safe spaces and ensure that everyone in our schools and Central Team has at least one person they can go to if they are struggling with their mental health.

We’re incredibly proud of our colleague Dave and grateful to him for going the extra mile in this ultra physical challenge. It’s truly inspiring for our children and colleagues and will raise valuable funds for Papyrus.’’

To donate to Dave’s Focus-Trust 15 Marathon visit:

Focus-Trust is a primary school trust which is based in the Northwest of England and West Yorkshire with a vision of providing great schools at the heart of communities where children thrive, achieve, and succeed.

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