07 May

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We have enjoyed one captivating week here at our Medtia site! I left you last time having to explain my reasons for not participating in the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s practice expedition due to an unfortunate injury. After speaking to the boys who went, there were certainly stories to be told. The two-day expedition involved a walk in the wilderness of Wales which unfortunately saw one of our students get stuck in a muddy ditch, losing a shoe in the process as you can see here! In Gold, participants also have to complete a section of wild camping while undertaking the expedition and I want to say well done to everyone who participated – Gold is tough yet it is even tougher when you do an expedition in conditions more akin to Winter than the middle of Spring and I certainly cannot wait to join you for the main expedition in June.

After reading Jack’s blog last week, I promised myself to not discuss the recent cyberbullying incidents because they do not deserve the slightest mention on my blog. I want to pay tribute to the members of staff who deal with the issues in their spare time instead. While most of us are relaxing with our families, members of staff interrupt that to try and make sure peace is kept. So, I have come up with an idea to give our members of staff a night off their peacekeeping duties. I want to propose a “Charity Digital Detox” – this would mean students and staff getting sponsored for charity to give up their social media accounts for a specific amount of time. In February, things were clearly getting too much so I deactivated my social media accounts and I have felt quite a bit better for it.

Another group that has helped me is the Andy’s Man Club and I am sure you are aware of the main Oldham community group that opened at the Leisure Centre on Monday 8th May starting at 7pm. It is great to hear of people talking about mental health. The old British way that was a “stiff upper lip” is irrelevant to the modern era and unhealthy. We need to promote the fact that the new British way is #ITSOKAYTOTALK. From attending the group, I have felt much better within myself. Not just because I have an outlet to discuss my feelings but because of the feeling that I am looking out for other people who share their feelings within the club and being able to be there for them in the same way that they are there for me when things go wrong.

As I am writing this, a huge smoke cloud has ruined what was a perfect Summer’s day here in Oldham. For many people, the old Marland Fold building held great memories for the students and staff and it must be extremely upsetting to see something that held so many memories destroyed in such a manner. Whilst I was really young when Marland Fold, Park Dean and Hill Top merged to create New Bridge School, I feel today is the day where we should all look back with great fondness at how the schools shaped how New Bridge has grown and how more opportunities have been created for the young people with special educational needs across Oldham.

Have a good week,

Matty