On 1st October we held a Healthy Lifestyle Day at the College. The goal of the day was to provide students with training, ideas, discussions, and options so they can be the best students they can be while at RCN. Another aim was to provide different tools that can help to have, and maintain, a healthy lifestyle.

During the day we had workshops about relaxation and mindfulness; sleep deprivation; anxiety prevention; healthy eating; active listening; yoga and fitness. The were opportunities for dance, tai chi, trust games and friendly football (the new ballrink is getting a lot of use!) and music making – and much more.

Dr. Eirik Fismen, the director of the Haugland Rehabilitation Centre gave a well-received talk to the students and we were fortunate to have alumnus Grzegorz Więcław (RCN 2004-06) visit the College to deliver a talk to the students. It is wonderful when graduates return to the College to share their experience and expertise. Grzegorz completed his undergraduate degree in Psychology and Communications at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia (Canada) and holds a European Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology from the University of Jyväskylä in Jyväskylä, Finland. He is now based in Gliwice, Poland with his own consulting firm.

His talk was titled “We Are Made To Move” and addressed the idea that exercise and physical activity is not just a possibility for everyone but is an essential part of our nature and we ignore it at our peril. Having been a student here he understands the demands of the UWC program and was able to give concrete advice on how to see the campus as a place full of opportunity for physical activity.

We also had workshops for the staff, and a presentation to the students, from Dick Moore and Jessica McKoen. Dick, formerly an English teacher, a House Mentor and latterly a principal of a co-educational day and residential school for almost 23 years is an Associate Trainer for the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust (a trust established in the UK to equip young people to look after their mental well-being) and is a Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Jessica, formerly a mental health practitioner and social worker, has run her own training company for the last thirteen years. She has been a senior lecturer at Middlesex University, London, and teaches Community Mental Health Care. She was one of the first instructors for Youth Mental Health First Aid.

We were very grateful to all who organized the day – with its speakers and workshops, and to Dr. Fismen, Grzegorz, Dick and Jessica for coming to spend some days with us.