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Students appointed as anti-stigma champions
Serving prisoners visit school erving prisoners visited Saint John S Houghton Catholic Voluntary Academy to talk to students about life behind bars.
Three inmates serving crimes ranging from fraud to death by dangerous driving warned students about the consequences of committing crime. More than 180 students from Years 9 and 10 attended the sessions in school run by the charity Prison Me! No Way! The aim is to raise awareness among young people about the causes, consequences, penalties and impact of crime. Prison officer Graham Holgate led the sessions and introduced students to three female prisoners. He told students: “I have worked in prisons for coming up to 32 years and I’ve locked up men, women, young and old. I have no choice about who I lock up. Some of them are coming to prison for 20 or 30 years and a lot of them have mental health issues. Some are very poorly and don’t understand what’s going on.” The three prisoners who accompanied Graham were serving sentences of up to three years and four months. One of the female prisoners talked about how she had been convicted of death by dangerous
driving following a crash in which a man died. She said: “I was travelling at 45mph, which was within the 50mph speed limit. There were four lanes of traffic and I was in the slow lane and the traffic was moving. I put my mobile phone on to charge and I was distracted for five seconds. I didn’t see the car that was stationary in the lane I was travelling in and hit the back of it.” Graham talked to students about the dangers of being linked to crime through friends’ actions and how crime can affect people connected to you. He said: “Crime doesn’t affect just the person involved, it affects everyone around them. Probably the person who gets locked up gets the easiest time, it’s the people outside who have to keep everything going.” Student William Holt, 14, said he found the session extremely valuable. He said: “I don’t think I really thought about how many people can be affected by a crime rather than just the person who is involved in it. It can affect your family and friends as well. I think hearing the talk also makes you think about who you are hanging around with and hopefully what we’ve heard today will help people from going down the wrong path.”
well as display them in school we are hoping to take them out and display them in the local community possibly at the library, the council offices and supermarkets.” The anti-stigma champions and staff are holding a coffee morning at the academy, in Kayleigh Whitehead, Rebecca Smith, Tom King George Avenue, from 10.30am to White, Martyna Kluch and Josh Morley, 12.30pm on April 26th , to promote their from Years 7 to 10, volunteered for the roles. campaign and to raise money to go towards They have received specialist anti-stigma the cost of reproducing the posters. training, carried out assemblies in school Tom, 13, said: “I wanted to get involved talking about mental health, met with the because it’s something that I hadn’t really academy’s Senior Leadership Team to disheard about before and it’s important that cuss their ideas and organised a poster com- young people feel they can talk about mental petition. health and any issues that might be affecting Students were asked to design a poster to them.” raise awareness of mental health issues and Martyna, 14, said: “We have already done the anti-stigma champions chose three win- assemblies and run the poster competition. ners. They were Elli Brown, Kimberley We are also working on creating a dedicated Crowther-Moore and Tynan Eggleston and room at school where students can go to have their posters will be produced and displayed a bit of time out or talk to us or a member of around the academy. staff.” Louise Craven, safeguarding officer at Mrs Craven said she was proud of the efforts OIEA, has been working with the students along with OIEA learning mentor Jo Birkin. of the anti-stigma champions so far. She said: “We’ve really been letting them They are both keen to promote the posters lead on this project and we want them to take within the wider community. ownership of it. Students need to know that Mrs Craven said: “The students have taken it’s good to talk. Statistics show that mental the lead on this awareness raising initiative health is just as important as physical and they chose 10 posters that they thought health.” were the best and then selected the top three. Photos: Five anti-stigma champions and We would like to reproduce the top 10 and as three poster competition winners.
ive students have been appointed as anti-stigma champions at Ormiston Ilkeston Enterprise Academy to raise awareness of mental health issues among young people.
Teacher completes London Marathon teacher at Ormiston Ilkeston EnterA prise Academy completed the London Marathon and raised £2,600 for charity with
the support of staff and students. Lesley Lowe finished the race in just under six hours and the money raised will go to the charity Health, Poverty, Action. Students and staff had supported Mrs Lowe’s fundraising efforts by taking part in a nonuniform day, coffee morning and a sponsored fitness challenge. They travelled as they could in 10 minutes on cross-trainers, bikes and treadmills as part of a staff versus student challenge in the academy’s fitness suite. Mrs Lowe said she was thrilled to surpass her £2,000 target and wanted to thank everyone who supported her. So far, she has raised £2,600. She said: “It was amazing. The crowds were phenomenal. My name was on my top and as I ran past people were shouting my name which was lovely. It was so noisy at Tower Bridge. I struggled at about 18 to 20 miles and I walked for a bit. I managed to see my family at eight, 18 and 22 miles which gave me a real boost. I also saw three other people running for the same charity as me and I saw the people from the charity at about 22 miles. “It was hot but there were lots of showers and water stations along the way and the fire service were out spraying people with water. That was great because it was like going through a rain storm. It was difficult seeing people who were struggling. Obviously we
had all been training in cold weather so the heat on the day was a bit of a shock. “When I came around the corner at the 26mile point and it said 385 yards to the end I just burst into tears. The whole event exceeded my expectations and I was pleased with my time considering the weather. The next day I was hobbling around in school, my legs felt like they were broken. I was so pleased to reach my fundraising target. I don’t think I would do any other marathon but I would do the London Marathon again.” Nia Salt, Principal at OIEA congratulated Mrs Lowe on her achievement. She said: "Mrs Lowe is an inspiration to us all. She shows us that working hard and sacrificing is sometimes what you have to do to achieve your goals. We are all so proud of her".