Artwork created by schoolchildren that raises awareness of mental wellbeing and tackles stigma can now be seen by thousands of people travelling along one of Southport’s main roads.

Farran Heron Joint Venture (FHJV) and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust have unveiled 10 banners along its new-build mental health hospital construction site off Scarisbrick New Road. The ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ art was created by Year 5 pupils at nearby Kew Woods Primary School, Southport.

FHJV and Mersey Care representatives ran sessions in the classroom to discuss themes from the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’, an evidence-based approach to improving health outcomes for everyone by following simple principles such as being active, keep learning, and so on.

Kew Woods Primary was keen to take part as the school is proactive in promoting mental wellbeing and awareness. The school also teaches mindfulness to encourage children to develop and improve concentration, interact with others and help cope with stress and anxiety.

All of the children’s submitted drawings and paintings will be featured on the site hoardings during the construction phase up to the end of 2019 and five individual prizes were awarded to children whose artwork was judged as most representative of each of the Five Ways to Wellbeing.

Shauna Young, CR Manager at FHJV said: “We are proud to unveil the fabulous artwork created by Kew Woods Primary School pupils which now adorns our site hoarding. Construction of this £20 million project on the former Southport General Infirmary site will provide a modern, fit for purpose health facility focussing on recovery and serving the local community, replacing the existing Boothroyd Unit and nearby Hesketh Centre. At FHJV, we pride ourselves on working with the local community to leave a lasting positive legacy. This mental health awareness initiative came about in partnership with Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, Sefton Council, Invest Sefton and Kew Woods Primary School. We are delighted to put our site hoarding to such good use in promoting the ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’.”

Mersey Care Chairman Beatrice Fraenkel, presenting vouchers donated by FHJV, said: “I’m delighted this amazing artwork will remain on site hoardings for everybody who passes to see it. It’s wonderful that we can invest in really high quality buildings in the heart of the community that involves the whole of that community, of which the children are a significant part.”

Councillor Paul Cummins Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care who has special responsibility for older people and health, said: “This is going to be a quality provision and that’s what local people deserve. There has been a lot of support from the community and local school, who have been displaying quality artwork and their understanding of mental health.”

Also attending the artwork unveiling was Kew Ward Councillor Mike Booth, Sefton Council’s Invest Sefton Business Growth Manager Julie Swarbrick, staff from the Boothroyd Unit, Hesketh Centre, and wider Mersey Care, FHJV, Liverpool Sefton Health Partnership and Ascot Signs.

A&E mental health liaison team manager Becky Jones said she was proud to have worked with the children in the classroom to raise mental health awareness and said their artwork was a shining example of wellbeing in action.

Two classes and four school staff were treated to a site tour to see the new hospital taking shape. Class teacher Emma Hunt said: “We really enjoyed taking part and would love to come back in future years to see how the hospital is developing.”