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Six school pupils and three members of school staff holding a giant cheque

Students stride forward to help mental health service

Pupils got running to raise more than £2,000 for an ‘integral’ mental health support service in school.

The children at St Mark’s Primary in Hanwell raised a whopping £2,000.90 by running, jogging or walking laps of the school field and asking family and friends to sponsor them.

The aim of the challenge was to raise much needed funds to support the Schools Counselling Partnership, which offers one-to-one therapeutic support to the most vulnerable children, parents and staff at St Mark’s as well as at 19 other schools in Ealing.

No-one has been untouched by the pandemic and schools are seeing the need for emotional support growing exponentially. In September this year, a team of parents, therapists and teaching staff across the borough came together to participate in the Thames Path Challenge walking between 25-100km each and raising £12,000 for all schools in the partnership. St Mark’s Primary was so inspired by the efforts of the participants that the staff and pupils decided to run their own event.

‘Enormous pressure on school budgets’

Toni Medcalf, CEO of Schools Counselling Partnership, said: “We are blown away by the efforts of all of the children at St Marks. The pandemic has put enormous pressure on school budgets who receive no statutory funding for mental health provision. This £2,000 will go a very long way to helping the most vulnerable children and families at St Mark’s. I would like to say an enormous thank you to everyone who participated and donated.”

‘An integral part of the school’

Sophie Liardet, headteacher of St Mark’s Primary School, said: “Supporting the well-being and mental health of all those within our school community is a high priority for us at St Mark’s and being part of the Ealing Schools Counselling Partnership has allowed us to provide much needed support for parents, children and staff. The counsellor and art therapist are such an integral part of the school and we have seen the positive impact they have had on children and their families. This impact is reflected in the generosity of our community in supporting our children to raise an amazing amount of money.”

Ealing Council’s school partnerships and enrichment team does a lot of work with St Mark’s and other local schools.

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