Children decorate stones with messages promoting positive mental health
Primary school pupils have been painting stones with positive messages to promote good mental health in the community.
As part of the school’s ‘Living Stones’ challenge, pupils from St Paul’s C of E Primary School in Ryhope were encouraged to brightly decorate stones with encouraging messages, ranging from love hearts and crosses to simply the word ‘hope’.
The idea stemmed from a conversation between Jackie Graham, Acting Headteacher at St Paul’s, Sharon Stiles, an Occupational Therapist at Hopewood Park, and Revd David Chadwick, Chair of Governors at St Paul’s Primary School.
The stones are currently being stored alongside stones produced by patients at Hopewood Park, with the intention of holding an event in spring.
Revd David Chadwick, Vicar at St Paul’s, said: “St Paul’s Primary School, Hopewood Park Hospital and our church have been working together for a few years now to promote mental and spiritual wellbeing across our communities.
“The aim of this exercise was to produce messages of hope that are as strong and as durable as the stones on which they're painted – similar to how hearing the words of Jesus is like building on rock.”
Sharon added: “Jesus talked about being the living stone of the church. We hope that this joint event between the school and the patients of Hopewood Park will give support to the local community.
“We want to let them know that during the dark days of the pandemic we were thinking of them, reminding them that they were not alone and that the care of the community was and is with them.
“I hope the stones will bring (living) joy whenever they are seen.”