In 2015/2016 a group of devoted teachers and students came together to apply for the Amber Flag for Plunket College. The Amber Flag promotes positive mental health for young people. The main aims of the initiative is to pro-mote mental health and well-being in the school, prevent mental health problems through increasing awareness, social support, reducing risk factors such as racism, bullying, isolation and to improve the quality of life for students/people with mental health problems by promoting recovery through awareness and education. The aims of the Amber Flag Team was to educate the students of Plunket College about mental illnesses by working together with the Student Council and the students themselves. We also provided individuals with the opportunity to talk, connect and share with us. The Team hosted a number of fundraiser/awareness days, mentoring systems, and competitions throughout the year to try and achieve the Amber Flag. There was with great excitement that May when the team were awarded the Amber Flag at a ceremony in Cork.
Occasionally the Student Council decide to have a week of Random Acts of Kindness. At this time of year, in every school around the country, emotions are running high, whether it be stress before mock exams for the Junior students, assignment deadlines for the adult classes or teachers trying to juggle all these pressures. So, in the spirit of making people smile, we thought, why not be kind? So we organised different things for each date to make the students and teachers smile. The only stipulation was, if you received a random act of kindness, that you pay it forward to three people. On the last occasion we passed out small cakes with inspirational quotes to students. We also gave out lollipops and sweets for all to enjoy. Thursday morning, we had Student Council reps opening the door for students who were then given a bottle of water, a piece of fruit and a smile to start their day.
Every year the Student Council run a fundraiser for St Vincent de Paul, gathering presents for children in the local area who may not have anything this Christmas. The response is always very generous. In less than four days, the Student Council collected a large amount of presents and raised some much welcomed Christmas cheer. Students witnessed the handing over of these gifts to St Vincent de Paul on Wednesday 13th December 2017 in Plunket College.
Repeating may seem like the end of the world but the dedicated and hard-working teachers and staff at Plunket College make repeating less stressful. I'd recommend it to anyone.
"I never thought that I would go to university because of Leaving Cert points, never mind have the opportunity to study in an area (Psychology) where it is so difficult to get a place. I owe how well I did in university in no small part to the year I spent on the Counselling & Psychology course in Plunket College; it was indispensable in getting me where I am now, a second year Psychology student in NUI Maynooth.