Rock Challenge event helps students to manage stress

Pupils at St Francis Xavier School, Richmond, perform at the Rock Challenge
Pupils at St Francis Xavier School, Richmond, perform at the Rock Challenge

NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical

Commissioning Group (HRW CCG) held a number of stress-reducing workshops for young people at the 2016 North Yorkshire Rock Challenge event.

Hosted by North Yorkshire Police, the Rock Challenge is a dance, drama and production event combining health, life skills and creative thinking.

Introduced in 1996, the aim of the event was to reduce anti-social behaviour as well as use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs by young people.

The 20 minute stress-reducing workshop sessions for students aged 10-17 were run by Michelle Atkin, Communications and Engagement Lead for HRW CCG.

Along with her role at the CCG, Michelle is a qualified hypnotherapist.

Michelle Atkin said: “The workshops were called ‘Just breathe: Just be’ and were offered to all students who attended the event, including those from our more local, St Francis Xavier school in Richmond.

“I thoroughly enjoyed running the workshops. Young people take on much more stress than maybe we realise so it’s really important to offer techniques to help manage stress – particularly at certain times of the school year.

“’Just Breathe; Just Be’ was designed to empower the students and to encourage them to take a few moments to breathe and reflect. I’m so happy to have been involved on the day and to been invited to attend the evening presentation.”

As well as gaining these new stress-management techniques, participants were given a colourful wristband.

A presentation took place on the evening and awards of excellence were given to the schools for those who had scored highly in elements such as drama, concept, stage use, design as well as for those who had completed a drug awareness course as part of their involvement with Rock Challenge.

Suzanne Asquith, Youth Engagement Manager for North Yorkshire Police said feedback from the event was positive.

“This was the first time we had run workshops in conjunction with HRW CCG and it has been a real success,” she said. The Rock Challenge is open to all schools throughout York and North Yorkshire.