Students and staff from the Model P.S are wrapping up another successful Health and Fitness week.
However, this year, due to lack of funding available to the school, community groups and organisations have offered their help to the school free of charge.
Speaking to the ‘Journal, Helena Lamrock, PE, Health and Wellbeing Coordinator at the school, said that this year the school had “absolutely no funding whatsoever”.
“Our aim is to provide a wide reaching, holistic education for our pupils, and their health, fitness and mental health are at the forefront of this.
“I put an appeal out on the ‘Your Derry’ Facebook page to reach out to local organisations within the community. The response has been amazing. So many groups and organisations offering their help and support, and all for free,” she said.
Organisations and groups from across the city have joined forces with the local school, which resulted in a jam-packed calendar of events. Old Library Trust, North West Regional College and Ulster University have hosted events for the children both in the school and outside.
A number of speakers also came in throughout the week to speak to the children including T38 Paralympic Athlete Conor McIlveen, Peadar Kearney, a GAA player who also specialises in eye injuries in sport, and Joe Callaghan, a motivational speaker.
“Conor came in on Monday and the children absolutely loved him, he showed them all of his medals,” said Helena.
Cloud 9 held mental health sessions for the children, Ciaran Ball from Childline ran workshops with the children about mental health, as well as with P7s who will be moving on to secondary school.
One of the activities for the Learning Support Class and Autistic Unit involved North West Regional College taking them canoeing in Enagh Lough, with transport included and at no cost. Pickle Berry Pop, a new sensory centre that’s opened in Greysteel, was also provided free of charge for the autism unit.
“It was just a matter of reaching out to the community, and the community really want to help us because they know the situation that schools are in at the minute. We want to make it a fun week for the pupils as well.
“There’s a lot of interaction. It’s reaching out to people and asking if they want to be part of it.
“This is what it’s been about this year, reaching out to the community and seeing what they want to do for us. It’s been absolutely brilliant, everything has gone like clockwork.
“It’s a lot of outdoor activities, getting outside and forgetting about the books for a while,” added Helena.
Other groups who provided their services free of charge include Planet Gymnastics, Paul Green Judo, Karen Cassidy Kung Fu, Sustrans bike training and Keep A Beat NI first training.
Tesco Strand Road also provided healthy snacks for students, while Moji provided healthy lunches for staff members all week.