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Chestnut Grove Students Awarded Grant To Make A Difference!

Chestnut Grove Students Awarded Grant To Make A Difference!

| by Editor | Posted in Balham News

A team of six students from Chestnut Grove Academy in Balham along with three other students, pitched to a group of judges at City Hall and were awarded a grant of £1500 for their ‘Brighten Up’ project.

The funds, given by City Pitch, a project set up to empower young Londoners to make a difference in their community, were spent on running a mental health day for the borough. Rowan, Rhani, Eliza, Zoe, Scarlett and Cora used the money to provide boxing classes, meditation, mosaic-making and cookery for young people in the area, and spent the remaining funds on equipment for the youth centre where the event was held.

Recently, there has been a staggering rise in mental health problems amongst young people. The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) survey of 850 education professionals found that 9 out of 10 schools have had to provide more support to pupils with mental health problems over the last two years. This has coincided with budget cuts to mental health and social services.

Keen to address the issue, the students wanted to teach Years 5-7 students, ways of maintaining positive mental health, whilst helping them to forge links with their local youth centre. Streatham Youth and Community Trust provide free activities during the week as well as during the holidays and crucially, meals for young people when they are not at school.

‘We wanted to raise awareness about mental health in young people as it is often underestimated’ said Eliza, aged 12, ‘and we wanted to raise awareness of youth centres as many young people do not know about them.’

The students, all aged 11-12 when the project began, have worked tirelessly to organise external speakers, buy food, advertise the event with local schools and buy the equipment that will ensure the youth centre is able to run even more events. Rowan, also aged 12, said of the event, ‘we may have done it for the community but it has been a lot of fun for us too!’

Many congratulations to these local students! You can learn more about Chestnut Grove Academy on their website.

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