Ipswich pupils first to receive new Suffolk Mind story book

Children at The Willows Primary School in Ipswich got a special visit from children's author Ezra He

Children at The Willows Primary School in Ipswich got a special visit from children's author Ezra Hewing as part of a day with Suffolk MIND. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Ipswich children were the first to get their hands on a new story book helping teach the benefits of movement on mental health. 

Suffolk Mind created the book, titled Sammy the Sea Squirt, and hand delivered it to pupils at The Willows Primary School, in Downing Close as part of a county wide rollout.

Every reception-aged child across Suffolk will receive a free copy over the next two weeks, with 8,000 copies published. 

This was made possible after a successful crowdfunding appeal, started on World Book Day in March 2021. 

The Willows Primary School raised more than £800 for the project following their own Sammy the Sea Squirt day.

Children at The Willows Primary School in Ipswich enjoyed a movement session with Suffolk MIND. Pi

Children at The Willows Primary School in Ipswich enjoyed a movement session with Suffolk MIND. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown


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Paul Arch, headteacher, said: "Developing an understanding of how to support and maintain our own mental health and wellbeing is vital for children so they can become resilient adults. 

"It was important to get involved with Sammy the Sea Squirt because there is a lack of high-quality resources for young children and we felt strongly that providing every reception-aged child with a book to support them was beneficial. 

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"As a Thrive school, this fits perfectly with our existing work, ethos and values." 

Head of education at Suffolk Mind and author of the book Ezra Hewing said: "We launched this important project as we want to ensure that children from a young age know the benefits of exercise on their mental health.

Children's author, Ezra Hewing. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Children's author, Ezra Hewing. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

"Movement and exercise makes the heart and body strong and healthy, but it also burns off harmful stress hormones to stop them damaging children's brains when they are at their most vulnerable.  

"We are very excited that every reception-aged child will have access to this beautiful book and be able take a copy home with them.  

"We want them to learn an important lesson in a fun way through the character Sammy the Sea Squirt, who moves with ocean friends to look after memory and emotions."   

Children at The Willows Primary School in Ipswich got a special visit from children's author Ezra He

Children at The Willows Primary School in Ipswich got a special visit from children's author Ezra Hewing as part of a day with Suffolk MIND. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Suffolk Mind will also be visiting four libraries across the county tomorrow to share the story with the wider public. 

Book readings, movement sessions and illustration tutorials will be held in Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Mildenhall and Lowestoft.

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