In an age where emotional wellbeing is paramount to everyone’s happiness and success, Holyrood Academy devoted an entire school day to inform students of strategies to manage stress, anxiety and coping under pressure. The inaugural MINDfest was held on the gloriously hot Tuesday 9th July – and what a day it was!
The entire student body was taken off timetable and instead attended workshops on a great variety of activities hosted by staff, visitors and volunteers from the local community. There were opportunities to have a go at Tai Chi, pond-dipping, meditation, flower remedies, laughter yoga, prama and pom-pom making to name a few. The vibe around the Academy site was incredible. Mrs Amy Carlile, who initiated and organised the day, said, “I would like to thank all the visitors that volunteered their time in order to provide some wonderful activities; Denise Hodgson - laughter yoga, Dr Tresidder - flower essences workshop, Helen James and colleagues from Nutriri, Charlotte Rupp - South Somerset partnership school, sensory art and David Powell who was our inspirational speaker for Year 7. A real highlight of the day was Alex da Silva from the Happy as Larry Group. He spoke honestly and frankly about his struggle with addictions and gave an inspiring account of hope and positive visualisation - we have the power to be who we want to be. Many students reported that it was refreshing to have someone who didn't fit the stereotype of someone who suffers with depression. Alex's mission is to change the world ‘one person at a time’. He certainly resonated with many students and staff.”
Lunchtime saw a Picnic in the Park with Aspen Services providing a delicious array of barbecue food while music was played and students and staff mingled on the field enjoying life and discussing their mindful sessions.
Days like these bring students and staff together in positivity and celebration, and MINDfest will certainly become a hotly-anticipated, annual tradition at Holyrood Academy.