A PROJECT to help youngsters at primary schools in York and North Yorkshire sustain positive mental health has been hailed a “resounding success.”

Educational sessions were held as part of the fifth annual schools outreach programme called ‘Where’s Your Head At’, targeted at primary schools as a joint collaboration between York City FC Foundation and Benenden Health.

‘Doing good does you good’ was the message of the programme this time.

It focused on promoting awareness of social and emotional wellbeing and factors affecting positive mental health, providing the children with opportunities to discuss their emotions and understand the benefits of physical activity, being outdoors and connecting with others.

Paula Stainton, foundation manager, said: “With young people’s mental health being a hugely topical theme, this has been a resounding success with schools. The programme launched in September 2018 and has been delivered in 15 schools in North Yorkshire with just shy of 1,900 primary school children aged 8-11 benefitting.”

Mr Thompson, teacher at St Paul’s Primary, said: “Developing healthy bodies and minds is something that’s extremely important to our school.

"The Benenden project is a great initiative that focuses the children’s thoughts on their daily routine and activities using the special diaries provided.

"The project was really well organised and delivered by York City Football Club and all the pupils and teachers thoroughly enjoyed the sessions.”

Pupils and schools were challenged to continue the positive message of spreading kindness in the community by recording simple good deeds in diaries.

The class with the highest number of recorded good deeds were invited to a York City football match and the class who presented their good deeds in the most innovative way won a small cash prize for their school.

Miss Stainton said: “We were delighted to be able to run our ‘Doing good does you good’ challenge leader board again and were thrilled with how much the schools and families engaged with this.

“What a treat it was to see the winners of the challenge from Riccall Primary School be announced last month and for over 50 pupils and family members to join us as our guests at the Ashton United game to round off their experience.”

As the culmination of the project, representatives from Benenden Health joined the Foundation staff at Wigginton Primary School on Valentine’s Day to present them with the school prize to go towards their choir.

Benenden’s Nicola Taylor said: “It is really important to be able to give back to our local community and to reach out to so many children with a light touch on the subject of mental health which unfortunately affects so many young people.”