A North Belfast school has marked Mental Health Awareness Week with a series of charity fundraisers.

Edmund Rice College in Glengormley has raised money for the ALPS (All Lives Are Precious) charity over the past few months and marked the end of Mental Health Awareness Week with a bake sale.

However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg, as the school’s community efforts began during the lockdown when a survey they shared found that more people in the school community were seeking help in Mental Health.

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In response to this need, the school‘s community manager, Colette Deery, helped develop an online community hub to keep the community together throughout the lockdown.

“Mental Health Awareness Week is something we place great emphasis on every year,” she told Belfast Live.

“It’s just about putting the books away for the day, taking a break and supporting mental well-being at school.

Edmund Rice College Fundraiser Bake Sale

“During lockdown we launched an online community hub that people could access from the comfort and safety of their home, we focused on mental health in response to a community survey we published at this time, and there was a primary need for support with mental health.

“Mental health awareness is at the very core of our ethos at school, so it was a very natural thing for us to develop, we put a lot of resources and online training facilities into it.

“We celebrated Mental Health Awareness Day at school with a bake sale to raise funds. The community was right behind us, parents and families, children at home worked hard to cook all week and we’re overwhelmed with the donations that have come in.”

In addition to the school’s dedication to fundraising and mental health campaigns, Colette was approached by ALPS following the success of the school’s community center and asked to participate in a challenge to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro this summer.

She said: “I know how challenging it is and it’s something on the scale that I’ve done before, but it’s a huge honor to be asked to represent the school at this scale.

“It’s breathtaking and overwhelming, I’m nervous but excited. My goal is just to get to the top and fly the flag for Edmund Rice College. It would be a privilege to do so on behalf of a school and such a great community.”

You can support the Edmund Rice College team in fundraising by by clicking here.

Video by Belfast Live videographer Harry Bateman.

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