Peterborough student wins national competition aimed at improving mental health conversations

Peterborough student at Hampton Garden Secondary School has won YMCA Trinity Group’s mental health poster competition

By Rosie Boon
Friday, 24th December 2021, 2:43 pm
Year 8 student Valentina Petruzziello at Hampton Gardens school has celebrated her winning poster.
Year 8 student Valentina Petruzziello at Hampton Gardens school has celebrated her winning poster.

Year 8 student, Valentina Pertruzziello at Hampton Gardens Secondary School is celebrating after winning YMCA Trinity Group’s mental health poster competition.

The competition was launched on World Mental Health Day, 10 October, coincided with the charity’s new campaign, Small Talks – Big Difference.

Valentina’s winning design highlighted common mental health challenges young people face. It also featured practical advice which anyone reading the poster would be able to try, such as sleeping well, talking to others, and accepting who you are.

The second winning design was created by Emily Askew at Wisbech St Mary’s Primary School in Cambridgeshire.

Valentina said: “I was surprised when I won the competition, but I was very proud of myself. I hope it will spread awareness to people who need support.

“I hope the poster will help others with their mental health and support them to have a brighter future. This poster and creating it has also helped with my mental health.”

As part of her prize, Valentina received a gift voucher for Hampton Gardens Secondary School, a Small Talks goody bag, and will have her poster design shared across other local schools for display.

The campaign centred on encouraging individuals to take small actions to break down the barriers around talking about mental health.

30 schools registered for the competition which saw students crafting a creative poster. From this, two winners were selected – a primary and secondary school winner.

YMCA Trinity Group is a local charity that helps young people to realise their full potential on their journey to independence.

Ryan Armes, Mental Health Programme Manager at YMCA Trinity Group, said: “After another difficult 12 months of adapting to and building back from Covid-19, we all know the importance of opening up, taking time out, and talking about our feelings.

“Our poster competition allowed our young people to do exactly that and raise as much awareness as possible. A big congratulations to our winners, their designs are fantastic and perfectly represent what the power of a small conversation can achieve.”

Each year, YMCA Trinity Group supports around 10,000 young and vulnerable people, and communities across Peterborough, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. Its primary aim is to enable every young person to grow and develop, running initiatives that tackle issues such as youth engagement, youth offending, mental health, access to employment, domestic violence, and crisis support. Schools can access a range of mental health services such as counselling, group work, staff training, and supervision.

To find out more about YMCA Trinity Group, visit: