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Lossiemouth's mental health and wellbeing day goes down a treat, with Co-op's help


By Lewis McBlane

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THROUGH teamwork and a generous donation from Lossiemouth's Co-op, Lossie High's mental health day became a "massive success" after three years in the making.

From left; Barry Chambers (Lossiemouth High School PE Teacher), Bob Henderson (Co-op Store Manger) and Lucy Smith (Co-op Team Leader)...The Lossie Co-op has donated all the necessary food for Lossiemouth High School's Big Brain Breakfast...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
From left; Barry Chambers (Lossiemouth High School PE Teacher), Bob Henderson (Co-op Store Manger) and Lucy Smith (Co-op Team Leader)...The Lossie Co-op has donated all the necessary food for Lossiemouth High School's Big Brain Breakfast...Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

The day, on May 17, sought to boost the physical wellbeing, relaxation and nutrition of Lossiemouth High School's pupils.

Barry Chalmers, principal teacher of PE, had a key role in organising the day, which brought together the PE, art and music departments.

He said: "It was a massive success.

"We tried to offer as much in house as we could and we fortunate that we have great staff who are willing to give up an additional role.

"It is not part of our day to day role to offer these options to our pupils so it was really brilliant to see."

The day kicked off with a Big Brain Breakfast, which was funded by a big donation from the Lossie Co-op.

Mr Chalmers said: "We really wanted to promote the importance of a healthy breakfast to help fuel the brain.

"Also, in the current situation, there are people who just can't afford to have breakfast.

"So it was just to ensure all our kids could have a good breakfast for the big day ahead of them.

"We are massively grateful for the donation from the coop and we try to work really closely with them because they are the local shop.

"As you will know the kids like to frequent the local shop quite often, so it is good to develop those links in the local community."

The breakfast items on offer included toast, with a range of spreads, cereal, fresh fruit and fruit pieces.

As the day went on, the PE department put on competitive team games for everybody to promote physical wellbeing.

For relaxation, where the art department set up "intuitive art" activities, including relaxing drawing and colouring in, while the music department organised Caribbean steel drum sessions and ukulele lessons.

To promote nutrition, the home economics department encouraged pupils to make fruit kebabs to reinforce the importance of eating your five-a-day.

The Elgin Youth Café's Donna Breen also brought in a fleet of smoothie bikes.

After pupils added their own ingredients to a blender on the bike, they were able to pedal their way to a tasty treat.

One of Mr Chalmer's highlights, however, was a gong bath session, where children could relax to the captivating sound of gongs.

He said: "Another one of our colleagues ran a sound therapy session, which was a gong bath.

"I had never heard of it before, but the kids absolutely loved it.

"It put them into a really deep relaxation state.

"Thing like that also let the kids see teachers in a different light as well.

"They get to see what teachers do sometimes outside of school too."

Originally scheduled for Easter 2020, the mental health and wellbeing day suffered a host of setbacks and delays due to the Covid pandemic.

Despite the anticipation, Mr Chalmers said the day was worth the wait – with even the weather playing ball.

He said: "The weather was good and it was a brilliant day.

"I think this is something that will be in the calendar every year, definitely.

"It has been three years in the making too.

"It was really good to finally make it a success and make it happen."


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