above: Alison Reidy, PCW with students Blake, Billy and Sid

above: Alison Reidy, PCW with students Blake, Billy and Sid

Billy, a student at Glenelg Primary School, regularly goes to the lunchtime table tennis program. “I started last year; I enjoyed it. You get to spend more time with people and bond with them when you play. I play with some of my friends sometimes and I also play with new people and teach them how to play.”

students playing lunchtime table tennis

The program started a few years ago and is now managed by SMG Pastoral Care Worker Alison Reidy and local volunteer Allan Richards, along with the support of school staff. Alison says, “The program provides students with an activity which has a positive impact on their wellbeing, gives confidence in trying and participating in a non-contact sport, builds friendships, encourages sharing and teaches leadership.”

Glenelg Primary School Deputy Principal Anthony Fischer acknowledges that support from the local community is vital and the contribution that PCW Alison and volunteers like Allan make at Glenelg Primary are important.

“It is fantastic to give kids a chance to excel in areas they wouldn’t otherwise get the opportunity. As a result of these activities we see increased self-esteem and engagement. Because they are able to join in, they feel good about it – and being successful transfers through to academics in the classroom.”

Your generous donation to School Chaplaincy helps PCWs like Alison support and pastorally care for students, staff and families at their schools.

Kerryn Coombs