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Pierre helps Club mark Mental Health Awareness Week

Sat 15 May 2021, 12:00|Tottenham Hotspur

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, we look at the work being delivered, with funds raised by the Club, to support the mental health of students at the London Academy of Excellence Tottenham (LAET).

LAET is a state funded Sixth Form delivered on the Club’s stadium campus, giving the brightest local students the best chance to access the country’s top Universities.

Earlier this year, the Club auctioned off items including Heung-Min Son’s match-worn boots from this season’s north London derby, Moussa Sissoko’s goalscoring shirt from the Carabao Cup semi-final and a Skywalk with Ledley King, raising more than £30,000.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg spoke with Paul Spraggs, Mental Health & Wellbeing Lead at LAET, about how the funds will be used to provide two mental health counsellors for the school.
Tottenham Hotspur Twitch presenters, Matt Tarr and Rebekah Walker, had the opportunity to speak with students from the school, who were able to express how important it is to speak to someone about mental health, and the incredible support that LAET provides in order to do so.

Paul said: “It was great to speak with Pierre on the dialogue of mental health. It is Interesting how as individuals from very different backgrounds, we found common middle ground within our conversation. The work that we do around mental health is facilitated by positive role models, such as Pierre, who are willing to have these kinds of open discussions. I would like to extend my appreciation and gratitude to Pierre and Spurs.”

Pierre, who donated a pair of his signed worn boots to the fundraising auction, said, “During this pandemic, many people have experienced a mental health issues or seen a loved one struggle. Mental Health support is so important and its vital we continue to break down the stigma surrounding mental health and asking for help. It was great to speak with Paul and find out more about the incredible work that LAET are doing – it is clear that the students are really benefiting from the support available.”

Student Rachel Oloyede Oyeyemi said: “When it comes to mental health, LAET make sure we are supported. Before we go on a break, they always send through a list of resources. Even when we are not in school, there is still that support which is really important.”

Student Joe Parker commented: “It’s important to be able to access people at home and at school. It’s important to have someone available and the fact is, everyone is aware that Mr. Spraggs is somebody you can go to.”

Mental Health Awareness Week is an opportunity to start conversations around mental health, and the things in our daily lives that can affect it.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, children and young people with a probable mental disorder were more likely to say that lockdown had made their life worse.

Sponsored by Tottenham Hotspur and Highgate School, LAE Tottenham was recently named The Sunday Times Sixth Form College of the Year, with an incredible 66% of its students winning places at Russell Group Universities following this year’s A-Level results, including six at Oxford and five at Cambridge.

These achievements are made even more remarkable in the context of the school being situated within one of the 2% most deprived wards in the country, with 63% of students coming from the lowest two social groups, - being described as living in “struggling estates” or “difficult circumstances” - using the ACORN tool for socio-economic analysis.

Around 200 school families are currently being supported by a hardship fund established by the school.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, please reach out to charities including MIND or Samaritans for support.