Louth and Horncastle schools sign pledge on mental health

Lincolnshire Wolds Federation.
Lincolnshire Wolds Federation.

The Lincolnshire Wolds Community Trust, incorporating Lincolnshire Wolds Federation (LWF)- which runs St Bernard’s School, Louth, and St Lawrence School, Horncastle - has signed the pledge to change how we all think and act about mental health.

The LWCT has signed an employer pledge with ‘Time to Change’, following a staff wellbeing day on March 29.

The work involves a growing social movement run by charities ‘Mind’ and ‘Rethink Mental Illness’, which supports people to open up to mental health problems. By signing, the Trust has committed to continue to build on its work in supporting staff, including changing the way we think and act about mental health in the workplace.

The signing ceremony took place at St Lawrence School involving all LWF staff and representatives from LWCT, who pledged their support to ‘Time to Change’ with an action plan of activity that will help to break the silence that surrounds mental health in the workplace.

Earlier in the day, staff took part in a range of activities around supporting mental health, including mindfulness and approaching conversations.

Lea Mason, chief executive of LWCT and Executive Head of LWF, said: “Our partnership with ‘Time to Change’ will continue to strengthen the work already developed and continuing across the Trust, in supporting our staff team to be their best selves.

“Our staff are our largest resource and have the greatest impact on our children and young people. Our ethos and commitment is to invest in our staff on a personal level, which then impacts on a professional level and ultimately impacts on all our students.

“The Lincolnshire Wolds Community Trust was formed to support outstanding education, including offering an exceptional approach to Special Educational Needs in Lincolnshire and surrounding areas. Through a visionary plan in blending all aspects of educational and therapeutic practices, our aim is to ensure all our students and young people from 0 -25 years of age, regardless of whether they attend specialist or mainstream schools, become successful individuals, confident citizens, who are part of their community, and responsible individuals who have the tools to meet the challenges society provides.

“We are a Multi-Academy Trust who hold central to all we do the moral purpose of ensuring all our students and young people achieve their personal best, through highly effective partnerships with schools and professional bodies for the benefit of all.

“Our highly dedicated, motivated and experienced team approach, ensures we work closely with families and carers, in order to identify and meet the needs of our young people. We believe the strengths and skills we hold locally within our area, ensure we have the ability to organise and run professional schools.

LWCT joins the wide movement of over 450 organisations that have signed up to the ‘Time to Change’ pledge, including E.ON, British Gas, Ernst & Young, Transport for London, Royal Mail, Barclays, Shell, Pepsico, the Church of England, Sunday Mirror, Marks and Spencer, and many NHS trusts, universities, and local authorities.

Jo Loughran, Interim Director of ‘Time to Change’, said: “We know it can be hard to talk about mental health, which is why we’re supporting employers to open up; to talk and to listen.

“Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, ashamed and worthless, but with the right support, those of us with mental health problems can recover and have equal opportunities in all areas of life.

“Everyone’s attitude makes a difference, and it’s fantastic to see organisations like LWCT taking the lead.

“Many leading employers have found that making a strategic commitment to the mental wellbeing of their workforce not only benefits their staff but also their bottom-line, improving productivity and staff retention. With one in six British workers experiencing mental illness it’s time for businesses to make a change and start creating more mentally healthy workplaces.”