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Weekly Welfare - 24.4.20

Welcome back to your weekly welfare email. Hope you are all safe and well and found some time over the Easter holidays to relax.

Just a reminder that I'll be sending this to all GPUTC students, parents and staff at about 2pm every Friday. Each email will include positive news stories, mental and physical wellbeing tips, links to interesting videos or online resources, and links to support services. If you have anything else that you think should be included, please email me!

Positive News Story: The combined forces of Comic Relief and Children in Need came together this week for BBC’s Big Night In. They raised over £27 million for charities that support the most vulnerable in society who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Find out more here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bignightin


Mental Wellbeing:  It can be a real challenge to keep our mental health strong when circumstances around us are so difficult. There are ways we can help ourselves, for example this suggestion from the Young Minds charity https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/articles/zfy3382. Sometimes, though, despite us trying really hard, our strategies are not enough. If you need support, please contact us on safeguarding@gputc.com so we can talk through how you’re feeling and make sure you get the support you need.

Physical Wellbeing: Exercise is a proven stress-reliever but learning how to keep fit whilst stuck at home is a challenge! This article gives tips on how to develop a fitness routine and stay motivated from various experts including Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/coronavirus-workout-home-exercise-fitness-motivation-tips-experts-a9440806.html

Interesting Links: We’re a big fan of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)  at GPUTC with both staff and students regularly signing up to explore topics they are interested in. If you haven’t yet had chance to explore the world of MOOCs this is an ideal time to do so. Completing a MOOC allows you to explore a topic that interests you but that is unlikely to be included on GCSE or A Level exams; they can also be really useful for UCAS and Apprenticeship applications because they give your interviewer an insight into your interests and passions.

Two of the biggest providers of MOOCs (many of which are completely free) are https://www.edx.org/ (good for courses from American universities such as Cal Tech, Harvard. MIT etc) and https://www.futurelearn.com/ (good for UK and worldwide universities).

Support: As normal, you can contact the relevant mentor or Student Manager if you have any questions or queries. Subject teachers will also be online from 2-3.30pm every day to give feedback and help you with the work you have been set.

The student welfare team are available by email if you need further support, Emma Coleman: e.coleman@gputc.com and myself: l.donaldson@gputc.com. We will call you back if you let us know the best number to reach you on. Students: we need written permission from your parents to call you on your mobile. In addition, the safeguarding@gputc.com email inbox will be checked on a daily basis.

If your family is facing a reduced financial situation, the charity Step Change can help. They have produced a guide (https://www.stepchange.org/how-we-help/reduced-income-guide.aspx) for those families who have a reduced income as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Peterborough Council have produced a Parenting Newsletter aimed at parents of teenagers (but with useful links for parents of younger children as well). I have attached it to this email.

And finally, here are some external services which you can turn to for support:

Parents Helpline: If you are a parent who needs advice about your child’s mental health you can contact the Parents Helpline directly on 0808 802 between 9:30am-4pm

YoungMinds Crisis Messenger: If you are a young person experiencing a mental health crisis you can text YM to 85258 for free 24/7 support

If you are a member of staff or parent who works in a school, college or university, you can call the Education Support Partnership for free support on 08000 562 561.

Hope everyone has a lovely week. As always, please get in contact if you find anything that you think should be included in this email.