Great Britain

Wallasey mum campaigning to get mental health books in Wirral schools

A mum from Wallasey Village has been campaigning to get mental health books into schools across Wirral to help support children’s social and emotional wellbeing.

Helen Reynolds became an independent organiser with Usborne books to help schools and families support children with their mental health.

Helen, who runs Turn the Page, is now campaigning to get the books into school libraries as well as books donated to children in need.

Helen told the Globe: “We hear so much about mental health in adults I thought what about children?

Wirral Globe: Head of literacy, Mr McGarry and Head Teacher of St Alban's School Mr McDonaldHead of literacy, Mr McGarry and Head Teacher of St Alban's School Mr McDonald

“The waiting list to get help is so long and it’s not good enough but we don’t have any other service available so I thought if schools could have six books that they could choose to keep in their library and then additional books to gift to vulnerable children it would help.”

Helen is hoping to get sponsorship from local business across Wirral to help schools get access to the books.

She said: “There’s children who will never be able to buy a new book at a book club and will always be left with second hand.

“This funding will allow those children to have new books to keep as well supporting their mental well being.”

Wirral Globe:

Helen, who is a mum of three, says the inspiration behind getting involved with Usborne books came from her nine-year-old son who has autism.

She said: “My son has social and communication difficulties, sensory processing disorders, dyslexia, anxiety and is hypermobile.

“He is currently in his third school and when my son was going through the journey of his diagnosis it was traumatic and stressful.

“I think if we had these books, it would have helped us to understand things.”

Wirral Globe:

So far, Helen has managed to join forces with St Alban’s Primary School in Wallasey where they have selected books that deal with feelings and emotions such as why things die, puberty, mental health, and families.

The books have been facilitated by a donation from Will’s Wishes as well as Asda in Liscard donating three hampers to be raffled.

Head Teacher at St Alban’s, Mr McDonald, said: "St Alban's have reading and wellbeing at the very heart of the curriculum and have been working on reading as a priority for all groups.

Wirral Globe:

“This year we are delighted to be a part of the 'Reading for Pleasure' created by Ms Reynolds that is targeting the most vulnerable readers in the school and supporting children's wellbeing at the same time."

Head of Literacy, Mr McGarry added: “Reading is an absolutely essential life skill.

“Reading for pleasure is one of the biggest indicators of success in later life so we are committed to ensuring all of our children have the chance to access books and develop their love of reading.

“I would like to thank Ms Reynolds from 'Turn the Page' for all of her hard work and enthusiasm in helping us on this new adventure and of course ASDA and Will’s Wishes for their kind donations which have helped launch this important initiative."

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