PUPILS from a Borders high school shared with local councillors how they are showing greater compassion at school through a new challenge.

Before leaving for the summer break a group of Selkirk High School pupils, as well as their head teacher Jamie Bryson, met with Scottish Borders Council councillors to talk about the kindness challenge they are taking on with fellow pupils.

The SAS (Support Assist Success) – Who Cares Wins Challenge was created by the Harris Trust, a Borders charity supporting the mental health of neurodiverse young people.

Pupils Evie Stewart, Clemency Cross, and Kady Amos joined their head teacher at SBC HQ in Newtown St Boswells to share specific examples of the kind of support on offer during the challenge, such as acts of kindness, reaching out to pupils they hadn't previously spoken to or offering support to someone who was perhaps struggling with a task.

Councillor Leagh Douglas, executive member for education and lifelong learning, said: “This initiative beautifully compliments the aims of the Neurodiversity Education Strategy set out in both the Admin Policy Plan and our council plan 2023 – to enhance education and awareness that so many people, diagnosed or otherwise, as neurodivergent feel more included and a more empathetic culture is promoted.”

Mr Bryson, after seeing the success of the challenge in his school, has decided to expand and continue with the challenge to make it a core part of the school's culture.

The Harris Trust was founded by the family of Harris Macdonell,a former Selkirk High School pupil, who took his own life in 2020 at the age of 19.

The trust's SAS challenge asks people to help others by sharing their skills or through acts of kindness.

The Harris Trust website reads: "We want you to show us how you have supported someone to do something new.

"There are endless possibilities – sport, music, baking, gardening, crafts.

"Grab a friend, neighbour or family member and see what you can do.

"We’d love you to get involved and share your photos/stories our Facebook or on Instagram @harristrust."

The SAS – Who Cares Wins Challenge will end with the annual Lilliesleaf 10k Run/Walk on Sunday, October 15.

After meeting with Mr Bryson and his pupils, Ms Douglas invited her colleagues and all staff at SBC to take part in the SAS – Who Cares Wins Challenge.

She added: “If you’ve noticed a neighbour struggling, ask yourself, how can you help them? How can you get to know them better? Do you have a skill to share? Could you help someone achieve a shared goal?”

For more information about the Harris Trust, the challenge, or to buy SAS – Who Cares Wins Challenge merchandise, visit: www.harristrust.org