A school is launching a fundraising drive to create a relaxing garden as it seeks to tackle some of the mental health impact of Covid.

Whitchurch Church of England Primary School is fundraising for a reflection garden, which they hope pupils will use to relax and reflect, helping to boost their wellbeing. They also hope to use it as part of work with mindfulness meditation.

Kate Steven, the school’s headteacher, said: “We have been so impressed by the way our pupils have transitioned back to school. Pupils and staff also coped so well with the many weeks of online learning from home.

“However, we understand how challenging the pandemic has been for our pupils and their families. We want to create a welcoming and relaxing outdoor space where pupils can be encouraged to explore their feelings and also take time out. We are fortunate to have a proactive PTA that is already working hard to make our plans a reality.”

Throughout the pandemic, mental health worsened for many, with a doubling of depression amongst adults. A survey by Young Minds found that 67 per cent of young people believe that the pandemic would have a long-term negative impact on their mental health, with 75 per cent saying the most recent lockdown was the hardest to cope with.

As a result, the school aims to make the mental health of their pupils a priority, saying that the impact of the pandemic on the younger generation is likely to be felt for years to come.

The PTA fundraising drive begins in earnest on July 11, with a car boot sale they are hosting with Testbourne Community School. All profits from the sale of pitches and ticket sales will be split between the two schools with Whitchurch C of E Primary School using the funds to go towards the reflection garden

Those who want to get in early from 9am will need to pay £2 for entry, while general admission, which is £1, begins at 9:30 – though children can attend for free. The event will close at 12.30pm, and parking is available at Testbourne Community School.

The school is also calling for pitches to get in touch, with the cost of £10 for cars and £15 for vans and trailers. To find out more about attending or setting up a pitch, interested members of the public are asked to email Whitchurch.bootsalebookings@gmail.com.