Mindfulness and Wellbeing in Schools
At Shepway Sports Trust, we have made a conscious effort to focus on our mental wellbeing over the last year. While we constantly promote the physical benefits of sport and physical activity, and understand first-hand the positive effect it can have on our mental health, our team have been participating in a number of initiatives which focuses on mindfulness:
- The team have been participating in weekly yoga sessions with Two Tone Yoga teacher, Brigit Hegarty.
- We are attending a six week Mindfulness course with the mental health charity, Mind.
- In return for three hours a week of physical activity, our team are rewarded with an additional week of annual leave – an initiative which allows employees more time with family, friends and doing things we enjoy (whilst also being fantastic for our physical health)
- The SST team all receive monthly treatments with holistic therapist, Ben Barnett and his wider team.
With this in mind, we’ve extended some of our useful practices into schools, including yoga and holistic therapy – for both students and teachers.
Here’s what Mrs Greenwood from Brenzett CE Primary School had to say about her experience with Holistic Therapies by Ben Barnett:
“As a school, we signed up to the Mindfulness and Wellbeing Package organised by Shepway Sports Trust and I met Ben Barnett who ran the workshop. As a teacher, Ben gave me the opportunity to have a holistic massage at Three Hills Sports Park.
To start the session, Ben and I chatted about my life as a teacher, mum and wife. As all teachers are aware, working in education is a stressful job and we spend a lot of time in-and-out of school planning, preparing and assessing for different sessions. During our conversation, Ben quickly picked up that I like to be organised and I struggle to say no, and ultimately take on too much at school. This allowed us to identify two key words that would be the focus of our session – lightened and empowered.
This was the first time I had experienced a holistic massage and one of the main differences was that Ben talked through the whole massage. Although strange at first, his words filled the space and were directed at me personally. It gave me an opportunity to think and reflect and key words stuck with me as the massage continued. It made me stop and focus, solely on me – something that I very rarely do.
Unlike most massages, this massage was undertaken whilst lying on my back on a warm water bed. At first I found myself to be quite tense but as the massage continued I felt myself relax and this allowed me to enjoy the experience. Ben recorded the session which gave me an opportunity to listen back to what he said in my own time and this allowed me to pick up on things I had missed during the session.
Reflecting on the experience, I think having the opportunity to undertake something like this at the beginning of the term is extremely valuable as it would put you in a positive mindset for what can be a stressful time and it would give you the chance to take time for yourself.
What I have taken from this personally is that I need to take more time for myself and that I should only say yes to things when I am happy to take it on and that saying no is ok!”
Thank you to Mrs Greenwood for this brilliant testimonial of her experience with our Mindfulness and Wellbeing Package.
If you’d like to know more about how your school could get involved, please contact our School Sport Manager, Sarah Green on email@example.com.
If you’d like to experience a therapy with Ben, please visit his website: benbarnett.co.uk
If you’d like to join our team, you can see our current vacancies here: shepwaysportstrust.org/about/work-with-us