Local pupils complete the Pillar challenge

Some of the Mackie Academy pupils who took part in the challenge
Some of the Mackie Academy pupils who took part in the challenge

Mackie Academy pupils took part in the “Pillar Kincardine TEAM 26.2 Campaign” as part of Mental Health Awareness week.

The event also coincided with the school’s health week.

Junior House Captains from third year were asked to lead their houses in the TEAM (Together Equals a Marathon) 26.2 Challenge, which promotes the link between physical and mental health, raising awareness that everyone has mental health and reducing the stigma associated with mental distress or illness.

House captains saw it as an opportunity to make TEAM 26.2 part of their inter-house programme, encouraging and motivating S1-3 pupils to give up some of their lunch hour to compete in a series of team building events.

These included rowing, walking, cycling, and running.

Pupils also held a smoothie-bike fundraiser, where they pedal-powered a blender making healthy smoothies and raised more than £100 for Pillar.

Gillian Grochla, team leader at Pillar Kincardine, said: “It was great to meet with the house captains after the week’s events and to get some feedback about how they thought it went.

“I was really impressed by the way they took the project on and committed to making it their own Pillar TEAM 26,2 Inter-House Challenge.

“They were passionate about it and highlighted that they felt there was a need to raise more awareness and to be able to talk freely about mental health particularly amongst their own age group.”

The week ended with COWIE house winning this year’s Team 26.2 Inter-House Challenge Trophy, donated by Pillar, which will be presented at the forthcoming school prize-giving.

Donna Wilson, faculty head for health at Mackie Academy, said: “The challenge really stimulated awareness and discussions around mental health.

“The pupil feedback has been that it was great to do something that made them feel connected to a local charity.

“Whilst raising funds for Pillar, the experience gave pupils an opportunity to work collaboratively with a local third sector organisation in a high profile community event and to raise awareness of available local resources.”

She added: “We hope to continue our relationship with Pillar Kincardine and are exploring further opportunities to work in collaboration with them to support the mental health and well-being of our young people.”