A little book which could really help with big problems

Little Book of Positivity

A little book which could really help with big problems

Working With Communities students at Forth Valley College have positively lived up to the ethos of their course, by writing a book to help students through pandemic lockdown restrictions and the added stresses it brings.

Jade Harley (27) and Chloe Cassidy (27) both from Falkirk, Hope Newton (21) from Grangemouth, Kirsty Kelly (27) from Stirling all HNC Working With Communities students and Kristie McIntosh (36) Grangemouth and Dannielle Coyle (25) from Airth Studying for the NC Working With Communities qualification, have published ‘The Little Book of Positivity’ online to help boost their fellow learners.

Business and Communities lecturer Stewart Ritchie has supported and encouraged the students and given them the freedom to really make this project their own and hey have also received massive help from the Forth Valley Student Association (FVSA).

The Little Book of Positivity - which is available to download free from the FVSA website - contains a wide range to suit different people. There’s a huge emphasis on creativity and providing an outlet for people as a means of distracting them or encouraging them to take themselves out of stressful situations and channelling any negative feelings into a positive activity.

The authors don’t claim to be medical professionals by any means, but they wanted to share their experiences in order to benefit people – especially students who the book is aimed at. They cover wellness techniques, such as breathing exercises and they have included a great gratitude challenge to help encourage mindfulness too.

In the book the students talk about coping mechanisms for when people are struggling and can’t get access to help – which has always been a struggle for many people even before the pandemic lockdown.

Help when it comes to breaking down workloads is also included and the writers have created a template for people to help them when they’re taking down notes, to use in classes if they struggle to organise their thoughts. There’s also a ‘goal getter’ page – especially useful for visual people who like to have that reminder for themselves and strive towards their goals.

It is understood there are some other versions of the book in development and that a dyslexia friendly one is the next version that’ll be released and they have also had a request for an editable version, so lecturers elsewhere can translate the content into a different language.

Hope Newton, said: “I don’t want people to go through what we’ve been through. I want us to be the help that we should have had. There’s a mental health crisis just now and while there are lots of great groups and support out there, we didn’t feel that there was enough out there for students.

“Everyone in the group has contributed content, come up with different ideas and concepts to explore – we’ve had a great response so far from social media and from our lecturers and peers within the college.”

Jade Harley, added: “As a group, we’ve collaborated well and we’ve been able to open up to each other and be a fantastic support system in making this project come to life in such a short time. We feel it’s our duty as community students, to facilitate as many activities as possible to ensure we help other students and people who need this.

“We don’t want people to feel alone and we need them to understand that there are people out there who are experiencing some of things they are and that they have a community of support behind them if they need it.

“Elena Semple at the FVSA was our go-between and has been brilliant to work alongside. We’d recommend other students who want to roll out student-focused projects and ideas to get in touch with them if they need support.”

Lecturer Stewart Ritchie, said: “The response we have had for this project is unbelievable. I have had messages from as far afield as Malta, France and Germany praising the students for what they have done. I am full of so much admiration for what the students have achieved. Hopefully this wee book will make things a wee bit easier for a few people.”

Elena Semple FVSA Activities and Volunteer Coordinator, said: “We have been excited to work with NC/HND students to help realise this masterpiece of positivity. They have planned and executed their project with such skill and attention to detail in order to cover the various areas of mental wellbeing. We are proud to have helped publish and promote their amazing work throughout our student community.”

To download the book visit: Little Book of Positivity @ Forth Valley Students' Association (unioncloud.org)

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