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Weekly Welfare - 26/02/2021

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.  

This has been a difficult week for our small community, but it has ended positively. Sometimes it can be hard to tell that someone is struggling (especially being quite isolated as we are at the moment) and it's easy to think that because we will be returning to school soon that means that everyone is okay. Actually, returning to school is another big change in a year of big changes and some people are going to find that process really challenging. Keep an eye on your nearest and dearest – if you haven’t heard from someone in a while, check on them; if the way they are communicating with you is different to normal, check on them. It's also worth remembering though a lot of us are very good at masking what we are going through. It’s not always possible to tell if someone is having a rough time and you shouldn’t feel guilty if you didn’t spot they were struggling. 

Above all, it is vital that you keep talking: to you family, to your friends, or to us. Contact your mentor, another teacher you feel comfortable talking to or the welfare team on safeguarding@gputc.com.   

Positive news story: Today marks the end of the Chinese New Year period, which is traditionally celebrated across China and internationally with a Lantern Festival. This is one of the biggest (and oldest) festivals in Chinese culture and one zoo in Jiangsu province even celebrated with the animals: https://uk.news.yahoo.com/chinese-zoo-serves-rice-treats-050000516.html  

Helpful resource for parents:  

Young Minds is a mental health charity which offers a range of services and support. Their advice page for parents is really useful: https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/for-parents/  

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:  

Although written for an American adult audience, this is a really good guide to help you deal with a friend who is experiencing anxiety: https://www.self.com/story/what-to-say-friend-with-anxiety. If you are worried about a friend, always involve an adult. Speak to your parents, or theirs or speak to a teacher or another responsible adult.  

 

Applications NOW OPEN for Peterborough Youth Council 
If you are aged between 11-19 years old and live, work or study in Peterborough, then we'd love for you to be a part of Peterborough Youth Council! 

You can find out more about the Youth Council here: https://youtu.be/S-XKFgBt4VM  

Submit your application here: https://bit.ly/peterboroughyouthcouncil . This application should take you around 5 minutes to complete and we will contact you after the application window closes to let you know if it has been successful. Applications will close in early March 2021. 

Email any questions or queries to: YouthCouncil@peterborough.gov.uk

Follow the Youth Council on Instagram @peterboroughyouthcouncil.  

For general youth voice updates follow @youthvoicepeterborough. 

 

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 for my final Welfare email 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