ADVENTUROUS Kilcooley P7 pupils got into gear to boost their mental health with a charity cycle to Holywood.

This is the second year of the Kilcooley Connect Project which is based on the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing – Be Active, Give, Keep Learning, Take Notice and Connect’.

The aim of the project is to support pupils as they look after their mental well-being, emphasising the positive impact of being kind to others and themselves. 

Donations of new toys, books and treats were collected from the community recently as part of the Kilcooley Connect Project and have been delivered to Team Haven who will put together hampers for vulnerable children this Christmas. 

Jonny Hall, a teacher at Kilcooley Primary School, praised his pupils for their impressive charity cycle effort from their school, along the coastal path to their final destination of Holywood’s Edge coffee shop.

He spoke of their cycling achievement saying: “Three of the pupils could barely ride a bike four weeks ago, with one on stabilisers. They showed incredible determination, using the cycle zone in school to practise every break and lunch time.

“The group of P7s also built their confidence and stamina during the cycle club after school every week. They even did a sunrise cycle to the coast, meeting at 6.30am, before heading back to begin their school day. 

“Many adults kindly gave their time to make the cycle happen. Achim Gloger and Alison McWhinney gave the bikes a health check prior to the cycle, Jon The Pedaler donated bikes that were used for the cycle and Oliver Coon donated helmets.

“We also had an anonymous donation that covered the train tickets for our return journey. It is amazing how many kind individuals there are that can connect together to bring about such a positive experience and help others.”

He urged local parents to embrace the benefits of the Kilcooley Connect Project saying: “While the benefits are very clear to see for our pupils, I want to encourage as many parents as possible to get involved in the Kilcooley Connect Project.

“The mental health of children is connected to their parents’ mental health. If we can reach more parents, to help them in any way we can, then they will be better placed to help their children. To see some of the parents connecting with their children and each other on the cycle was incredible. I can’t wait for the next stages of the Kilcooley Connect Project.”