Making Mental Health Child’s Play
Published on 16 October 2019
A Dundee nursery business is putting the mental health of both children and staff at the top of the agenda.
Balgillo Nurseries, who run four nurseries in the city, have introduced a number of wellbeing initiatives.
Staff are teaching children how to be mindful, as well as actively working on resilience, conflict management, openness and a growth mindset. On a physical level, the nursery is introducing regular yoga sessions and laps of the nursery garden, both of which are reaping rewards when it comes to the children’s focus and behaviour.
Similarly, breakfast boxes have been introduced in staff areas, alongside a ‘Balgillo spa box’ filled with personal care items for staff to refresh themselves throughout the day. Meanwhile, weekly ‘Fit Fridays’ encourage staff to dress down in sports clothing for comfort. There are also plans to enlist the support of a local personal trainer to support regular exercise events as a team.
Meanwhile, at the Turnberry Avenue and Torridon Road nurseries, local lettering art project Outdoors Type has created stunning murals on the outside of the buildings.
As part of his mission to promote a positive mindset across the city, signwriter Barry Robertson said, “By creating typographic murals with meaningful content, we felt that both sites could provide a canvas for educating the children and inspiring communities.
“The Ardler garden’s established environmental project provided the initial concept for the fence panels mural. Pamela also asked to include a message highlighting the importance of mental health awareness. This was a tricky challenge, combining serious and relevant statements in a playful and appealing style. I believe that a happy environment contributes to a healthy mind so the solution was to simplify the separate messages and weave them together. The Ardler nursery mural is a leading example of how businesses can support public art. I believe that this mural can delight viewers and I hope that it will positively alter thoughts and actions.”
Pamela Gall, co-owner commented, “We are very much putting health and wellbeing to the top of the agenda, both for the children in our care, and our growing staff team.
“The days of telling children not to cry and to ‘put their tears away’ are thankfully long gone so we’re actively working to encourage a more positive tone of voice amongst our staff, while also allowing children to show their emotions.
“As well as the psychological strategies, we’re collectively having lots of fun getting more active. Everyone feels more focused and positive after spending some time outdoors, and we would hope that the children carry these habit-forming activities into later life, generating a huge range of benefits as they face life’s challenges. Of course, we also recognise that staff who are happy and healthy can have a really positive impact on the children, and on themselves as individuals. Working in a nursery can be challenging so it’s important that we care for each other, and support staff in their day to day roles.”
Balgillo Nurseries are located in Broughty Ferry (Torridon Road, Queen Street and Langlea Place), and Ardler Village.
For more information, or to arrange a visit to any of the nurseries, please telephone Pamela or Kim at Balgillo Nursery Ardler Village on telephone (01382) 489886 or via www.balgillonursery.co.uk.