Worthing school turns caretaker’s house into wellbeing centre, with help from students
Worthing students are working with staff to create a wellbeing centre, complete with allotment, gardens and a fire pit. They have been volunteering during August as part of a wellbeing project designed to help and support the community through these difficult times. Chatsmore Catholic High School, which is soon to be renamed St Oscar Romero Catholic High School, organised the project to turn the former caretaker’s house into a wellness house. More than 70 students, parents and carers are helping out, including some who are due to join year seven in September.
Phil Dean, careers, enrichment and outdoor learning leader, said the project was part of a wellbeing plan called Future Promise. With the focus on creating wellbeing areas, the project is split into five parts - house, allotment, gardens, fire pit gazebo and summer events. Chloe Peskett, house director, said: “We plan to have a meeting room, a radio station, a chillax room, a drop-in counselling room and a fully-working café. This has been an amazing project to be a part of and has opened up many opportunities for me and many other students. I am only 13 but being a part of this project has given me the chance to start a business, manage people and most importantly, learn how to run a house.”
Students have been decorating, gardening, researching and networking ahead of the return to school in September. Caitlin McTighe, allotment director, said: “This project so far has been a very tiring and exhausting experience but it’s been so much fun to take part in and I’m so happy to have such a big role in the making of this project. The garden and house are coming along so well, and we are certain that the community, whether it’s the school or the people, will love this project, although there is still more to do.”
Ellie Harman, 15, is the summer project co-ordinator for Future Promise 2021. She said it had opened up many opportunities for the student. She explained: “My plan is to open a summer camp/academy for all students aged five to 15. This will include of lots of exciting days out and many activities to take part in. I believe if I can target schools in general, and get the word out, I truly believe we could be on to a winner. As well as being project manager and overseeing the project itself, it’s been amazing to watch it grow and to be able to speak to other students and staff in ways I haven’t before. It’s really been an eye opener for me and my co-workers to understand the potential of the property. It’s been a hard and tiring week but been so exciting to have eyes on the project and watch it grow.”
The gazebo area, which will be built in September, will be ‘a beautiful place’ for outdoor learning and wellbeing. Mr Dean said: “Driven by our innate need to be in nature, the gazebo is being built in a developing woodland on the school field and will become a place of relaxation and wellness.” If you are interested in finding out more or you have a way of supporting this worthwhile wellbeing project, please email [email protected] There will be a drop by session on Saturday from 10am to midday for donations of plants and flowers.