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Jermain Defoe visits Abbey Wood school

PUBLISHED: 16:51 22 September 2011

Jermain Defoe at St Paul's Academy in Abbey Wood

Jermain Defoe at St Paul's Academy in Abbey Wood

Archant

Jermain Defoe called on an Abbey Wood school to help spur on the next generation of filmakers.

The Tottenham and England player visited St Paul’s Academy in Finchale Road, Abbey Wood, yesterday (22) to talk to students who made a film about mental health, called Reality Check.

Defoe said: “Being mentally strong isn’t easy and it’s really important to have support at home to help you become strong. When I play football, I am completely focused and that helps my mental wellbeing. It’s great to have a passion for something like that. It doesn’t have to be football, it can be anything. These kids have done a great job making this film.”

The project was part of the Happy Soul Festival which is a Black and Minority Ethnic film and arts project exploring wellbeing. It commissioned youngsters to make their own short films in the boroughs of Wandsworth, Richmond, Sutton, Merton and Greenwich.

Principal, Pat Winston, said: “We were delighted to be associated with the project and we welcomed Jermain Defoe to our school. Sport plays a pivotal role in helping raise achievements for both boys and girls in the school. This is very much reflected in the performance of our Year 11 students in our recent GCSE results.”

Nineteen students from St Paul’s students took part in the project, with the help of Oxleas, the area’s mental health trust. It took one day to film and explored young peoples’ experiences and awareness of mental health.

After presenting the students with autographed copies of the film they made, Defoe took part in a question and answer session from students in Year 11, followed by a tour of the school and its sports facilities as well as eating a school dinner.

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