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Students step up to support community with pandemic health sessions

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As part of @colegcambria’s Trusted Leaders programme, learners joined forces with @AoC_Sport (Association of Colleges) ambassador programme to support health and wellbeing sessions in north east Wales. 

Sixteen students from Cambria’s sites in Deeside, Northop and Wrexham took on ambassador roles with a focus on mental health, equality and inclusiveness, and wellbeing.

They also delivered virtual athletics sessions for school pupils stuck indoors during lockdown and came up with innovative ways to keep in touch with fellow students and friends using online platforms including Instagram, Strava and TikTok. 

Active Cambria coordinator Donna Welsh praised the group and said they are a credit to the college.

“We are so proud of them for the way they have shown passion, maturity and creativity in rising to the challenge in helping to improve the wellbeing of their peers,” said Donna. 

“One of their tasks was to create an action plan targeting diversity – we want to engage with more girls, LGBTQ+ learners and minority groups – and to organise fun activities as well as fitness sessions.

“With more funding and an emphasis on mental health and wellbeing increasing within colleges across the country, the spotlight is on helping others, which is so important and our core aim with Active Cambria.”

Among those delivering fitness sessions at Deeside was sixth form student Lara Martin, who said: “I have found exercise and keeping moving has been of huge benefit to me throughout lockdown. 

“I wanted to share this and help fellow students improve their wellbeing and keep active whilst having fun. Providing these sessions has given me confidence and new skills in delivering fitness classes online, plus I really enjoy it.”

Max Rowland, a mental health ambassador at Deeside, added: “The reason I have taken this role is because I find coaching athletics benefits both the children’s and my own mental and physical wellbeing whilst giving back that sense of normality they haven’t had throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. 

“I enjoy the coaching sessions as I can see the development of their athletic ability from the lessons with myself and the other coaches, which is rewarding.”

Coleg Cambria has been applauded throughout the pandemic for its support of staff, students, and the community. 

They have also welcomed 10 new Trusted Leaders onto the programme at Coleg Cambria Yale, who are supporting lunchtime sports session in the £21m new-build.

Donna added: “We can learn a lot from the last 15 months and pass that down to the next generation, the value we place on looking after ourselves, living a full life and ensuring people are resilient and can handle whatever the world throws at them.”

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