May 2019

Local mental health charities receive a boost thanks to former Withernsea High School students

Thanks to generous contributions from a group of former students, two local charities are set to benefit from donations given in honour of the school. 

Last year, members of Withernsea High School’s Class of 1983 held a successful reunion at The Spread Eagle public house in Withernsea where they met to share memories and reconnect with former classmates 35 years after leaving school. The event attracted just under 30 guests and, as a gesture of gratitude to their former school, the group collected an impressive £200 which they asked be donated to a charity of the school’s choice.

Following the success of last year’s reunion, a similar event was held again this year at The Spread Eagle on Friday 26th April. After securing another strong turnout, and with plenty of new faces in the mix, the organisers once again decided to hold a collection which this year raised £215. 

Presenting the money to the school, event organiser Pete Wilkinson commented: ‘I am delighted that we have been able to raise so much money in honour of our former school. The reunions were a great success and a lot of our guests were keen to give something back to the local community. I would like to thank them all for their generosity and for making our reunions so successful. I am already looking forward to the next one!’

School Media Coordinator Tim Nuttall commented: ‘On behalf of the school, and of the charities the donations are destined for, I would like to thank Mr Wilkinson and the Class of 1983 for their kind generosity. With mental health, particularly in young people, being at the forefront of national attention at the moment, we feel it is only right that the money be donated to Hull and East Yorkshire Mind and The Warren Youth Project - two local charities who have got strong links with our school and who directly help support our students on a regular basis.’

Last October, Withernsea High School became one of only 17 schools nationally to be partnered with the Mind charity in a pilot scheme which aims to improve the well‐being of all of those who learn and work in the school community. With access to resources and expertise from trained professionals, the school has been able to facilitate a number of workshops, tailored assemblies, specialist training and one-on-one sessions to help many staff, students and parents.  

Claire Thomas, Partnerships Development Manager at Hull and East Yorkshire Mind, said: ‘On behalf of everyone at Hull and East Yorkshire Mind I would like to say thank you to everyone who contributed a donation, and to Withernsea High School for choosing us as their charity of choice. With 1 in 4 people experiencing mental health problems at any time, it’s really important that there is support available for people when they need it. We rely on local people to support us with donations so that we can continue our work to raise awareness of mental health, and support those who need it. We have really enjoyed working with Withernsea High over the last year and really appreciate the support of everyone at the school.’

In 2017, creatives from The Warren first began working with Withernsea High School students on their ‘Three Minute Heroes’ project – a hands-on mental health project which allows students to express their feelings and emotions through lyrics and music. Two years later and the project continues to run, giving an anonymous voice to a large number of students who put pen to paper to create lyrics which are then performed by Hull-based bands and musicians.

JJ Tatten, Manager of the Warren Youth Project, said: ‘We are immensely grateful for this kind donation from the Class of ‘83. It will be put to very good use, but it’s just as important to know that the Class of ‘83 haven’t forgotten what it was like to be young and that this current generation is very much in their thoughts. That means a lot to the young people we support.’

Commenting about the importance of the partnerships and mental health work in general at Withernsea High School, Headteacher Mark Crofts said: ‘Our whole school approach incorporating students, staff and parents, seeks to coordinate the skills and experience of dedicated services and organisations to make sure that no child or young person falls through the net of care.

It is undeniable that the world we live in is changing at a rapid and sometimes alarming rate. Whilst much change is for the good, the social world we live in leaves many adults and young people under pressure and exposed.

As a school we have a responsibility to not only educate young people but to help them to manage this social world. The good mental health of young people is at risk unless we are proactive.

We are therefore grateful for the continuing support of our partner organisations and I am delighted that the Class of 1983, as members of our wider school community, are keen to help support our current students.’


Plans are already in motion for another reunion of the Class of 1983 next year which, in an effort to help with the logistics of getting everyone together, is set to take place at a venue in Hull.

Anyone interested in attending can contact Pete Wilkinson via email at pjwilkinson07@googlemail.com for further information.


 


Pete Wilkinson, organiser of the Class of 1983 reunions, presents the donations to (ABOVE) Headteacher Mark Crofts and (BELOW) Claire Tomes, Child Protection Coordinator.