We were delighted to open St Raphael’s yesterday afternoon, a well-being centre at the heart of the School encompassing the Rennie Surgery, St Luke’s mindfulness space, St Catherine’s (Learning Support) and the School Counsellor’s room.
This has come at a time when Mental Health is at the forefront of people’s minds; universities have been criticised for providing inadequate support and recent news reported universities’ concerns that they risk "failing a generation" unless students get better mental health care. There is a necessary movement toward supporting the whole person: Farnborough Hill has had this as a core value for over 125 years. The new wellness centre will provide additional scaffolding so that pupils leave with sound strategies for nurturing and looking after themselves physically, intellectually and mentally.
The opening was attended by our Sisters, the Chair of Governors, pupils, and staff. In her speech Mrs Neil commented, ‘St Raphael’s was named after the Patron Saint of Healing; he was also Patron Saint of Travellers and of Happy Meetings. As we are on life’s journey, travelling alongside one another, I hope we will have many happy meetings here which enrich us and provide us with love and support. This Centre will be key to providing extra care for the girls; it will be an area of positivity, emphasising and accentuating feeling good about oneself, developing strategies to self-heal and become more resilient. I am delighted that an idea discussed so fully in School Council has come to fruition’.
St Raphael’s was officially opened by Sister Rennie, who was a pupil at the school in the 1930s, subsequently became a Sister of the RCE, and was later the School Nurse. She has been a Sister for over 70 years, serving the School with love and care. It was a real pleasure to be able to celebrate Sister Rennie’s contribution to the School in this way.