Spreading kindness through wellbeing activities
The Childhood and Education and Public Services departments have been prioritising activities to boost students’ wellbeing.
The past year has been challenging for many. As a result, the college has launched Kinder Colleges in a bid to promote wellbeing by encouraging students and staff to get involved with wellness activities.
The campaign is focused around six key themes, including Kinder Spaces, which aims to inspire people to get out into nature and appreciate their surroundings.
According to the Mental Health Journal, gardening is shown to reduce stress and improve mood, with a reduction in symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Students have been doing just that by growing their own sunflowers. Set up to promote positive mental health, the Sunflower Project helps students to appreciate the benefits of spending time in nature.
As part of the project, they were provided with seeds, compost, pots and instructions of how to plant the sunflowers. These sunflowers will be displayed along the balcony at Quarry Hill Campus.
Louise Dalby-Bell, Student Support Coordinator at Leeds City College, has been working closely on the project.
“The childcare students have loved working on a fun planting project. At a time when students were feeling stressed due to looming deadlines, the Sunflower Project allowed them to take time out and focus on a calming activity which was good for their mental health.”
Once the sunflowers have fully grown, students will be entering into a competition for the tallest sunflower.
A report from Mind revealed that more than half of adults and over two thirds of young people said their mental health had gotten worse during the period of lockdown restrictions.
In a bid to promote self-care and good wellbeing practice during these times, the Childcare department designed a project where students decorated pebbles to be hidden in public locations for others to find.
The activity aimed to raise awareness of mental health support, with many students opting to promote wellbeing charities and services on their pebbles.
Students explored their creative abilities by decorating the pebbles with positive quotes, aiming to help members of the community feel less isolated during a challenging time.
“As many of our students struggle with their mental health, it’s important for us to develop activities that will positively impact their learning experience, engagement and progression. Both students and staff loved getting involved in the project, I hope to roll out this project again in September.
“I am also organising an ‘Act of Kindness Week’, where students and staff will be encouraged to carry out a random act of kindness in order to boost the morale of others and themselves.”