The ‘Helping Hands’ Lunchtime club was formed in September 2021 to provide a safe, engaging and inclusive environment for Year 7 students to attend twice a week. Through togetherness and teamwork, the club aims to encourage students to build new friendships, widen their social circles and develop their confidence, whilst engaging in a range of fun and educational activities such as board games, card games, arts & crafts and teambuilding exercises. In sessions, students are motivated to interact with their peers and make new connections, decreasing the risk of any experiences of social isolation in the school setting.

The club is supervised by the Student Advocate for Year 7, however the idea of ‘Helping Hands’ was originally put forward by some of our Year 7 students, who felt passionate about the wellbeing of their peers in school and who did not want to see anybody on their own at lunchtimes. ‘Helping Hands’ prides itself on helping others and promotes a strong sense of community which is apparent in all that we do at Mount St Mary’s. A safe space for students to come to at lunchtimes is important in any school, however, through making this safe space revolve around peer-support and building friendships, it really does contribute towards each student’s sense of wellbeing and their positive experience of school life.