Student postcard project combats loneliness for Mental Health Awareness Week

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and Crompton House students have been ‘thinking happy’, getting creative and reaching out to others to combat loneliness, with their #WriteASmile postcard project.

The kind hearted students have so far hand-written over 500 cheerful postcards, filling them with inspirational quotes, thoughts, poems and cheeky jokes – with the hope of raising a smile for both the writer and the reader. The cards have been delivered to pupils at local primary schools, patients at the Royal Oldham Hospital and residents in local care homes – as well as to their teachers and each other! To encourage their peers to take part in the initiative, students had lots of fun starring in their own promotional video, which premiered this week on YouTube and was beamed to every class in the school.

Claire Cullen, Librarian at Crompton House,  who has co-ordinated the #WriteaSmile project said:

“We were bowled over by the creativity of our Book Council who came up with this lovely idea – it’s a brilliant way of highlighting the positive effects that reading and writing have on our mental health and wellbeing. Sending and receiving letters and postcards can alleviate feelings of sadness and isolation and it’s important that in a world of emails and texts, children understand how powerful it can be to pick up a pen and send their good wishes to another person – even if it’s just a few words. 

Y8 student Kaya Read came up with the #WriteASmile idea, and has great ambitions for the project:
“We need to look after our mental health every week, not just in Mental Health Awareness Week. We are going to carry on sending our messages out and card by card we want to help put an end to loneliness in our school and wider community. I know some of the students who are studying for exams at the moment really liked getting cards – it’s nice to spread some positivity. We loved making our own video and hope it encourages the whole school to get involved.””

Lynsey Macfarlane, Assistant Headteacher of Teaching and Learning & Emotional and Mental Health Lead at Crompton House said:

“It is so important to raise awareness of mental health; feelings of loneliness are often hidden and people suffer terribly in silence. The #WriteASmile postcard project has encouraged our students to let others know they are not alone. We are very proud of them for coming up with such a great idea – the children have written some brilliant messages and I am sure everyone who has received a card will appreciate the sentiment.”

Watch the students’ #WriteASmile video here –
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