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Internationally acclaimed authors and broadcasters supported Prep School’s Festival of Wellbeing


As the snow receded and Spring began to return, Hazlegrove Prep School embraced its annual festival, the theme of which this year was Wellbeing. Writers including John McCarthy CBE and Sir Michael Morpurgo OBE backed the Festival of Wellbeing held by Hazlegrove Prep School in Somerset. McCarthy is Patron of the Hazlegrove Annual Festival which changes its area of focus each year.

McCarthy is internationally recognised for his writing and broadcasting and also for enduring more than five years as a hostage of the Islamic Fundamentalists in the late 1980’s alongside Sir Terry Waite and Brian Keenan CBE.

McCarthy, who was the keynote speaker, said, ‘I’m thrilled that Hazlegrove has invited me to be patron of their Festival of Wellbeing. What a terrific idea - to spend a week focused on how we can keep healthy and happy! Our lives seem to get more and more busy, with constant demands and deadlines to cope with. But, we need to take time for recreation and reflection too, so it’s going to be fantastic to have a week filled with thought-provoking conversations, exciting and energetic activities and lots of laughs! I hope that Hazlegrove students, parents, staff and the wider community will all take a deep breath, relax and have a fabulous and enriching time.”

The Festival also had the support of renowned children’s author, Sir Michael Morpurgo OBE for whose charity, Farms for City Children, the school raises money as part of its charitable work throughout the year. Sir Michael said, ‘It is a week of forging awareness, new understandings and new relationships, an experience that enriches lives’. Hazlegrove also supported Sport Relief as part of the Festival with a Sport Relief Family Run which will raised funds for the popular charity. The Festival was launched with a Dance-A-Thon involving the entire school community in aid of the Yeovil Community Arts Association. In addition, the Festival welcomed the New York Times’ best-selling author of the popular Storey Treehouse series, Andy Griffiths. A passionate advocate for literacy, his hilarious tales have kept children laughing for over twenty years.

With each day packed with events addressing mental health, physical activity, parenting, Forest School, environmental issues as well as nutrition, workshops, debates and activities for the local community, the spirit of the Festival infused throughout lessons and activities during the week and beyond.

Headmaster Mark White, comments, ‘Developing our sense of wellbeing, both as individuals and as a school community, allows us all the potential to live purposeful and contented lives. Despite the busy pace of daily life, here at Hazlegrove, we strive to create an environment where a healthy balance between work and exercise, recreation and reflection is possible. However, it is not taken for granted and we should all continue to open our eyes to creative ideas and strategies to enjoy life to the full. The Festival of Wellbeing was uplifting for all ages and stages, whilst also providing a fantastic opportunity for the Hazlegrove and wider local community to come together.’

Published: June 11 2018

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