We are delighted to be introducing our first ever Meldrum Academy Health and Wellbeing Festival, which will take place on Wednesday 17th May 2023 – 6.30-8.30pm. This event aims to highlight some of the excellent supports that are available across our local community and give all members of our school community a chance to think about how they can take a positive and proactive approach with different aspects of their health and wellbeing. The event will include a range of guest speakers who will be sharing their knowledge and expertise on a range of HWB topics, Q and A sessions which will provide attendees with the opportunity to participate in more interactive “ask the expert” sessions, a range of fabulous workshops provided by a range of our local HWB providers and a variety of stalls. This is shaping up to be a great evening – make sure you get the date in your diary now to ensure you don’t miss out and keep a look out for further details coming soon.
Guest Speaker information
Hannah Miley – MBE: We are sure the first of our guest speakers requires little introduction! We are so excited to be welcoming local, three time Olympian, World Short Course, Commonwealth and European champion to our first ever health and wellbeing festival here at Meldrum. Alongside her illustrious swimming career Hannah has gained a degree in Applied Sports and Exercise Science, qualified as a pilates instructor and is an advocate for Women in Sport where she is truly passionate about empowering girls and women to enjoy and embrace being female whilst educating and future proofing their health.
Session Title – Resilience: Hannah will share her perspectives on resilience and talk about life experiences where being a resilient person has been fundamental to success.
Venue: Meldrum Library
Gwen and Allen Robertson: Gwen and Allen Robertson make up the “authorised decider skills trainers” team covering Scotland. Both with a mental health nurse background and trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), they are passionate about mental health and in particular the preventative approach to mental health which is what has led them to train in the Decider Skills. The Decider Skills are winning strategies for mental health. Developed from a strong evidence base of CBT and Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) they aim to help people live a more skilful, less impulsive life. The Decider summaries CBT and DBT informed skills under the four core skill sets of Distress Tolerance, Mindfulness, Emotion Regulation and Interpersonal Effectiveness.
Session Title – The Decider Skills: Gwen and Allen will give an introduction to The Decider and talk about some of the main skills. The skills are common sense, down to earth, practical and useful to EVERYONE.
Venue: Staff Room
Michelle Blake: Michelle has lived experience of being both Autistic and ADHD and runs a successful private practice from her home office in Oldmeldrum as a Specialist Neurodivergent Consultant, Counsellor and Coach. She has extensive experience of working within the areas of substance misuse, end of life therapy and education and now works exclusively in a therapeutic coaching capacity specialising in supporting individuals exploring the possibility of neurodivergence (pre and post diagnosis) as well as their families. She has written and delivered a 10 week neurodivergent focused parenting programme in both the city and shire, educating and empowering families to parent through an autistic/ADHD lens. In her role as a neurodivergent consultant Michelle advocates and advises on behalf of the families she supports for the acceptance, equity and inclusion of neurodivergent individuals.
Session Title – Anxiety, Autism, ADHD and Accessing Education: Michelle will deliver a 45 minute session briefly exploring the links between Anxiety, Autism and ADHD with a focus on how they impact neurodivergent young people’s ability to access education
Venue: Y119 (HE Classroom)
Colin Shore: Colin is a research assistant based at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit (University of Glasgow). His primary role is within the Complexity in Health programme which develops and applies research methods that are designed for understanding factors that shape the impact of interventions and policies aiming to improve health and to reduce health inequalities. Colins general research interests are physical activity for health, exercise as medicine, healthy ageing, and population health. Colin has recently been working with pupils and staff at Meldrum Academy through our engagement in “The Clock Off Study – A peer influence approach to reduce night-time use of interactive electronic devices and social media among adolescents”.
Session Title – The Clock Off Study: Colin will share his knowledge and experiences of his involvement within this study, briefly outlining the issues around adolescent device, social media use and sleep. He will also talk about the development of this intervention which aims to use a peer influenced approach to reduce night time device and social media use.
Q&A Session information
Felicity Goodhall – Felicity is the senior autism practitioner at Autism Understanding Scotland. She is late-diagnosed autistic herself, has two autistic children, and is a former English tutor. In her current role she delivers 1:1 sessions with local autistic people, their families, and professionals, as well as running training sessions, groups, and events at the charity. She has also been closely involved with the development of the Aberdeenshire Autism Strategy, which is close to completion.
Session Title – Q and A with Autism Understanding Scotland: You will have the opportunity to ask questions about what Autism Understanding Scotland does as a charity, how they provide support locally and any general autism-related questions you might have.
Venue: Staff Room
Sarah Hatch – Sarah is a psychology graduate with a special interest in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and experience with the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and Enable Scotland. Sarah is the current Kooth Engagement Lead for Aberdeenshire.
Session Title – Supporting the Health of Young People ft Kooth: Sarah will discuss mental health across Scotland, how parents/carers and teachers can support young people and how Kooth can provide further support. You will have the opportunity to ask questions about Kooth and/or supporting your young person.
Hannah Miley – MBE
Session Title – Mental Health Challenges and Choices: You will have the opportunity to ask Hannah questions on the “highs and lows” of being an elite athlete, how Hannah has dealt with these experiences and the choices she has made.
Venue: Meldrum Library
Michelle Blake – BACP
Session Title – Anxiety, Autism, ADHD and Accessing Education: An opportunity to participate in a more interactive session where Michelle will be happy to answer any questions that attendees have around this specific topic.
Venue: Y119 (HE Classroom)
Rona Main (Yoga with Rona)
Workshop Title – Yoga: Kick off your shoes and join us for 30 mins of fun and relaxing Yoga. Yoga involves moving gently into postures and through simple moving sequences, improving the quality of our breathing and experiencing relaxation techniques. This is an Introductory class, so you don’t need to be flexible! It’s suitable for ALL abilities and age-groups including beginners and you’ll be encouraged to take things at your own pace. You don’t need to bring anything as mats are provided. Just bring yourself along wearing comfy clothes! The session finishes with a guided relaxation.
Time: 7.00pm to 7.30pm / 7.45pm to 8.15pm
Venue: Drama Studio
David Brown (Aberdeenshire Rangers)
Workshop Title – Meditative Walking: Walking as we all know is an exercise that contributes to good health, what is generally not known is that walking can be made into a form of meditation. This “walk of attention” aims to quieten and still the chatter in our heads. Join David at the school garden to participate in this walk.
Time: 6.30-8.00 pm
Venue: School Garden
Paul Leslie (Yee’s Hung Ga Kung Fu)
Workshop Title – Chinese Martial Arts: Chinese martial arts have a long association with physical and mental wellbeing. Paul is dedicated to continuing this across a range of traditional disciplines. Join him in a taster session to find out more.
Time: 6.30pm-7.00pm/7.15pm – 7.45pm
Venue: Small Gym
Emma Reid (Petals and Paper) and Wendy Finlayson (Meldrum Academy)
Workshop Title – Flower Arranging Demonstration: Getting into nature does not always mean you have to get your hands dirty, join Emma for a demonstration of the therapeutic benefits of flower arranging. Wendy will be encouraging families/participants to get their hands dirty by planting up some seeds.
Venue: Polytunnel (School Garden)
Jackie McBeath (Fireflies Nurture and Thrive)
Workshop Title – Outdoor Mindfulness: Join Jackie for an outdoor mindfulness taster session. Spending time in nature is so important to both our physical and mental wellbeing, find out more about what we do, why nature connection is important and ideas of things you can try yourself at home.
Venue: School Garden
Bruce Thomson and Steve Gordon (Meldrum Karate Club)
Workshop Title – Practical Self-Defence: Meldrum Karate Club focuses on karate-jutsu, the practical application of our martial art. Join us in this short workshop to learn some simple techniques to defend yourself in real-life scenarios.
Time: 6.30pm-7.00pm/7.15pm-7.45pm Venue: Fitness Gym