The Oban Times - - Districts -

KINLOCHLEVEN High School cel­e­brated its first hap­pi­ness day by cut­ting the rib­bon on a new chat room.

Orig­i­nally a store cup­board, the room was turned into a com­fort­able place to talk to a men­tal health first aider, men­tor or coun­sel­lor by pupils at the school.

The Kinlochleven chat room was of­fi­cially opened by Alyson Smith from Lochaber Hope, who said the room is ‘su­per’.

Cut­ting the rib­bon, Ms Smith said: ‘ You should be so proud. What break­through work you are do­ing – you are ab­so­lutely cre­at­ing the right en­vi­ron­ment for young peo­ple.’

Head teacher Re­becca Machin said: ‘We wanted to en­sure that we not only in­cluded pupil voice but also en­sured that the con­cepts of in­clu­sion, ac­cep­tance and the re­moval of stigma per­me­ated ev­ery as­pect of our school, its cur­ricu­lum and its ethos. By in­volv­ing our pupils so di­rectly in its de­vel­op­ment, we hope we have achieved that.’

Since 2013 the United Na­tions has cel­e­brated the In­ter­na­tional Day of Hap­pi­ness and this year the school de­cided to get in­volved.

Mrs Machin ex­plained: ‘Ac­tion for hap­pi­ness is a move­ment of peo­ple from all walks of life who are tak­ing steps in their per- sonal lives, com­mu­ni­ties, work places and schools to help cre­ate a hap­pier and more car­ing so­ci­ety. We in­vited our new S1 to take part as we thought this would make a lovely first day at Kinlochleven High School for them.’

The pupils made a tree of life with each child cre­at­ing a mes­sage of grat­i­tude at­tached to it, took part in a drama work­shop and baked in aid of the Breast Can­cer Care af­ter­noon tea cam­paign, which raised more than £75.

THE world’s largest in­door ice- climb­ing cen­tre is invit­ing week­end war­riors to ex­pe­ri­ence the thrill of ice and rock climb­ing as part of its an­nual open day.

On Satur­day June 24, the £ 3.6 mil­lion cen­tre will be host­ing fun and fam­ily-fo­cused ac­ti­vates to raise money for char­ity.

And this year or­gan­is­ers have said Down’s Syn­drome Scot­land is among the char­i­ties set to ben­e­fit from the day.

Tracey Smith, op­er­a­tions di­rec­tor at Ice Factor in Kinlochleven, said: ‘The Ice Factor open day is a fun and com­mu­nity-spir­ited event that aims to en­cour­age young and old alike to get ac­tive and ex­pe­ri­ence all that our award-win­ning fa­cil­ity has to of­fer.

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Holly Bald­win, Alyson Smith from Lochaber Hope, and Alex Stu­art in the new chat room.

Joe Saun­ders, right, with par­tic­i­pants on the ice wall.

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