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Christmas Charity Single

On Wednesday 30th November our whole school congregated in the hall to record their very own charity song, ‘Just Be you,’ in partnership with the Shaw Mind Foundation and other local schools.


Children from a range of local schools are coming together to record and release a charity single in time for Christmas. The project, run by Newark charity, The Shaw Mind Foundation, aims to help young people learn to accept themselves and others for who they are. The song will be available to download from various school websites for a small donation to the charity.


Seven local schools, including Newark Academy, St Peters Cross Keys Farndon, Mount School Newark, Barnby Road Academy Newark, Forest View Academy Ollerton, Kneesall Primary and Barrowby C of E Grantham are working with The Major Oak Pop Choir to learn and record the song, which will be performed live at the Christmas lights switch on in both Newark and Ollerton.


The song is one project within the Breathe: Create programme launched recently by the charity which aims to engage people in activities that work toward improving their mental health and wellbeing through creative arts. The project is being led by Shirley Novak, The Shaw Mind Foundation’s Community Development Manager, who was involved with the original recording of Just Be You. Shirley Novak commented:


“Young people are often worried and concerned about who they are and what they look like. By exploring the root causes that lead to distress, be it body image, relationships or exam stress, we can help build resilience and prevent mental health problems from developing - and have fun doing it!”


At our schools, Mrs Banfield has been responsible for working with the children and teaching them the song, liaising with the charity and the professional recording studio.  Sarah Banfield, Key Stage 1 teacher at Barrowby Church of England Primary School added:


“We are passionate about the arts and when we had the opportunity to take part in the ‘Just Be You’ project we jumped at the chance. Our children’s mental health and wellbeing are very important to us. The words to the song are beautifully written and have inspired both staff and children to continue to value themselves and know that no matter what struggles they face they can stand tall and be themselves. This has been such an exciting, worthwhile opportunity for our school community to come together and create a wonderful sound. We cannot wait to hear the finished single and be a part of a wider community of schools.”


Pauline Daglish at The Major Oak Pop Choir added “The Ladies of the Major Oak Pop Choir are thrilled to have been invited to be involved in this exciting project, especially as it supports the important work of The Shaw Mind Foundation. We have thoroughly enjoyed learning the song ‘Just Be You’ and have found it to be inspiring in both the music and the message that the lyrics portray. ”


At Barrowby CE Primary School, we value each individual and celebrate their gifts and talents.  We aim to support all members of our school community to nurture and support their mental well-being and provide support when this is needed.  We hope that this uplifting song will serve to promote the good work of the Shaw Mind Foundation and ensure that those that need mental well-being support are being helped.