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Weekly Welfare - 29/01/2021

Welcome to your weekly welfare email. This is an email that I will be sending to all GPUTC students, parents and staff every Friday whilst students are learning at home. Each email will include a selection of positive news stories, mental and physical wellbeing tips, links to interesting resources for parents and students and links to support services. I hope this is helpful to our community in these challenging times.  

Dear GPUTC community,  

With the news that students will not be returning to schools straight after half term, it is natural for us all to feel a bit flat. We’re not sure what the immediate future holds and there’s still a lot of worry about what the next few months will bring. Instead of focusing on the worry and uncertainty, try to control the controllable. We can control the small actions we take every day: we can manage our routines, keep ourselves healthy and keep ourselves learning. We can also spend some time focusing on our long-term goals and the skills we need to develop to get us to where we want to go. This week’s resources for parents and students will help with this. If you’d like some advice about careers, you can also contact our Careers Coordinator, Katie Elias (k.elias@gputc.com).  

Our welfare and pastoral teams continue to work hard to support students whilst they are learning at home. If you need to be in contact, your first port of call is your child’s mentor. You can also contact safeguarding@gputc.com for urgent matters.   

Positive news story: Historic achievements have been made by the energy sector over the last few months. During the first lock down, records were broken for the amount of time the country went without using fossil fuels. Now, the data is in for the whole of 2020 and it confirms that renewable energy has overtaken fossil fuel usage both in the UK and in Europe. These achievements represent a small but important step towards becoming more sustainable as a society. More details here: https://www.independent.co.uk/independentpremium/uk-news/renewable-power-fossil-fuels-b1793620.html  

 

Helpful resource for parents:  

The work of the future will be very different to the jobs that many of us trained for. If you’d like an up-to-date picture of the careers your child may have available to them, the Target Careers website can help: https://targetcareers.co.uk/parents-and-teachers/313443-resource-zone  

Many families have seen a change in circumstances in the last year. If your family income has been reduced recently, I would encourage you to check whether your child qualifies for Free School Meals. The criteria can be found here: https://fis.peterborough.gov.uk/kb5/peterborough/directory/service.page?id=HDtwUlc8p5A. To apply, email bursary@gputc.com and we will process your application as quickly as we can. If you need urgent help to access a Food Bank, please let us know via the same email address.   

Families can also receive support from the community hubs set up by our local councils: 

 

Helpful resource for students:  

Want to improve your communication and presentation skills? All GPUTC students are signed up to Unifrog, a website we use as part of our package of careers support. Next week, Unifrog are running a free webinar for students to help them gain confidence in their public speaking. Sign up here: https://cutt.ly/rkwQEyD. The webinar takes place at 4.60pm on Tuesday 2nd February.   

 

Message from Peterborough and Cambridgeshire Local Authorities: 2020 was a difficult year for us all, but even more so for the children and young people who go in to 2021 without a stable home and loving family. This New Year we are looking for people who are determined, energetic and caring, to become foster carers. 

Fostering with Cambridgeshire County or Peterborough City Councils means you are fostering with a local authority that truly cares about you and the children in our care. We offer comprehensive training courses both before and during your fostering adventure with us. We also allocate a social worker who will support you and we also provide a 24/7 helpline so you will never feel alone! 

Remember if you are a Cambridgeshire County Council or Peterborough City Council employee and undergoing an assessment as a foster carer for either council, (with agreement from your line manager), you are entitled to additional annual leave of up to 5 days to attend training courses. 

So, whether you are single, married, retired, working or a full-time parent to a birth child YOU CAN FOSTER! Make this a happier New Year for our children and young people. To find out more, call 0800 052 0078, text FOSTERING to 60777, email fostering@cambridgeshire.gov.uk or visit www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/fostering

 

Links to support services:  

Working online:  

We are all spending more time online at the moment, so it’s really important that we understand how to keep ourselves and others safe online. The following organisations have loads of information about how to do that:  

For students: Thinkuknow   

For parents: Internet matters  

For staff and parents: London Grid for Learning  

  

Mental health support:  

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

For parents: 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 5544 between 9:30am-4pm  

For staff: 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.  

If you need assistant to contact other support services, please email safeguarding@gputc.com and we will be in contact.   

I hope everyone has a lovely, restful weekend. I’ll be back next week with more positive stories and resources. If you have anything that you think other students, parents or colleagues would find useful please email me the details (l.donaldson@gputc.com).  

Kind regards,  

Lynne Donaldson  
Director of Support