‘My mum’s a legend’ - 7 awesome messages left on school’s gratitude tree
It is often said that the two most powerful words in the English language are “thank you”. So this Christmas tree with a difference, where young people can say thanks to someone special, is certainly leaving a “lovely glow” across Ipswich’s Copleston High School.
Kelley Osman, wellbeing consultant at the Gippeswyk Community Educational Trust school, wanted to do something in the run-up to the festive season to reinforce the academy's values of kindness.
Consulting with her friend Dr Hazel Harrison, a fellow clinical child psychologist who also works in schools, she decided to set up a gratitude tree in Copleston's reception.
Rather than hang decorations from the tree generously donated for free by Claire Muckleston at Bourne Garden Centre in Ipswich, youngsters are encouraged to hang messages of thanks to someone who has helped them or has just been there to lend an ear.
Even though the tree has been there less than a week, the result is a display perhaps far more sparkling than any tinsel or shiny baubles - thanks to the heartwarming messages left by students.
■ "I am thankful for how hard my mum works to provide for my family. She's a legend."
■ "I am thankful for my family, my dogs and my friends. Also to live in a nice home."
■ "Thankful that the climate emergency is being talked about."
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■ "I am thankful for my parents providing for me."
■ "I am thankful for my family and friends being supportive of me."
■ "I am grateful for a loving family and wonderful friends."
■ "Thank you to the friends and family members who have supported me."
Miss Osman said the young people at Copleston have "absolutely loved it" and that people had felt "overwhelmed" when reading the messages.
She added: "Coming up to Christmas, we felt it was really important that we focus on gratitude.
"It is scientifically proven that the act of saying 'thank you' makes you feel better.
"Young people are under incredible pressures at the moment. This has given us the opportunity to reflect and say 'thank you' for all sorts of things."
She added that reading the messages "gives you that lovely glow".
Copleston High School principal Andy Green said: "It makes you realise there are some wonderful young people who are very kind and caring towards others."
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