Wigan Community Foundation have announced a new partnership with Happy Smiles Training and Davanti Tyres to get children to talk about their feelings through storybooks.
This will see first team players visit schools, alongside Davanti Tyres and deliver sessions courtesy of Happy Smiles. The children will read books around issues such as mental health, emotions and terminal illness. Afterwards, they will discuss their feelings around what they have read.
The Wigan Foundation’s school education manager, Guy Wood said: “Happy Smiles are our programme leads, they’re the ones who deliver sessions across the local primary schools.
“The aim is to encourage children to talk about feelings, emotions, aspirations and how they want to develop in the future.”
Alex Winstanley, author of the books, and Inclusion champion for Happy Smiles training added: “The book we looked at this time was about depression and it looks at the life of someone who is suffering from mental health challenges.
“Everyone has gone through lots of challenges in the last 18 months, in lots of different ways. This is a way of getting people to talk about their feelings and emotions.”
Liam Hillier, partnerships manager at Davanti Tyres added: “It’s fantastic for us to be able to put money and effort towards these types of foundations.
“Especially sitting in the classroom with the kids, seeing all the amazing things they are learning. It’s brilliant for us to be able to give children these experiences.”
Wigan injury news
Meanwhile, on the pitch, Wigan Head Coach Matt Peet believes both Oliver Partington and Zak Hardaker will be fit in time for the start of the season amid injury concerns.
Partington rolled his ankle in training, while Hardaker suffered a recurrence of the neck injury that kept him out for a period in 2021.
While they will miss a period of pre-season, the pair should be fit for the start of the season.
Peet said: “There was a clash during a skill game, a bit of a coming together, which resulted in Oliver rolling his ankle.
“It’s a shame for him but hopefully, he can put the work in and we are confident that he will be ready for the start of the season.
“I am pleased we have been able to get the best option for Zak and for him to attack the season fully fit.”