On Tuesday 12 June, Garforth Academy opened its doors to a host of organisations as part of a Post 16 Health and Wellbeing Day. Aiming to illuminate the value of both emotional and physical wellbeing, students in Year 12 attended a variety of sessions ranging from drug and alcohol awareness, mental health, sexual health, gender politics and organ donation.
A number of experts were invited into the Academy to lead the sessions to around 200 students, including drug education organisation NARCANON, Antony Nolan Trust, NHS Blood and Transplant and Postgraduate students from Leeds University.
Feedback from the day was extremely positive with a large number of students commenting on the usefulness of the sessions on mental health and organ donation in particular. Reflecting on the session delivered by Antony Nolan Trust, one student explained how ‘the session on organ donation provided lots of useful and eye opening information that showed how much of a difference we could make to other peoples lives.’ Another student acknowledged the stigma surrounding mental health, alcohol and drug abuse, explaining that their outlook had changed having spoken to ‘real people with real stories.’ Perhaps the most poignant feedback was that which suggested students were thinking forward: ‘Today made me think about my lifestyle choices – I want to plan for my future and make the right choices.’
The Academy organised the event to exemplify the importance of its young people’s personal health and wellbeing alongside outstanding academic attainment. As the challenges faced by the 16-19 age group become increasingly diverse in the current economic climate, the event also reflects the government’s prominent focus on students’ Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural wellbeing.