Students lead 'wellbeing' charge

NATASHA THYNE
Last updated 08:20 30/05/2014
lachie scarsbrook, sophie newmarch
NATASHA THYNE/ Fairfax NZ
DOING WELL: Roncalli College wellbeing leaders Lachie Scarsbrook and Sophie Newmarch in front of the SADD (Students Against Dangerous Driving) pledges boards the whole school signed.

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Roncalli College students have been exercising their mental muscles during wellbeing week.

Year 13 student Sophie Newmarch is one of the wellbeing leaders helping with the week's activities. The week had been packed full of activities to broaden how students saw the emotional aspect of their lives as much as the physical side, she said.

"As a school we've had some hard times in the past. We, as a year group, feel strongly about mental wellbeing."

During the week, year 11 girls participated in an Enlighten Education course around self-worth and self-esteem, while the boys looked at similar issues with Constable Bob Katene.

The year 13 students are also preparing a Hope Garden they intend to leave as their legacy to the school.

Sophie dreamt up the idea to have the garden, in a corner of the rugby field, as a reflective space for students. She said they would be replacing the statue that was vandalised and planned to have the garden finished by the end of the school year.

A peer mediation project was also formalised on Monday.

The project involves the older students wearing smiley face badges, letting their peers know they can talk to them as a stepping stone before going to an adult for help.

Lachie Scarsbrook is also a wellbeing leader and one of the senior student peer-mediators.

He said he liked being able to help other students with problems he had faced in the past.

He is also involved in the Students Against Dangerous Driving (SADD) campaign. Last year, all of the students signed a SADD pledge, with new students adding their names each year.

Both Lachie and Sophie said while there were occasionally a few negative comments, the majority of students were happy to support the cause.

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- The Timaru Herald

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