Raheem Sterling partners with global mindfulness brand, Headspace, to build a meditation room for students at his former school

Ark Elvin Academy in Brent has opened its very own custom-built meditation room courtesy of The Raheem Sterling Foundation and the global mindfulness and meditation app Headspace.

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Raheem’s former high school received a significant donation from Headspace to build a space dedicated to practising the art of meditation, and provide support to help students understand the importance of mindfulness and good mental health.

According to the Department of Education, almost half of secondary schools (46%) say that pupils’ mental and emotional health was the biggest challenge in helping them catch up with learning, demonstrating the need for greater access to facilities and tools such as these.

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The meditation room was funded as part of a partnership between The Raheem Sterling Foundation and Headspace to champion and educate the next generation – enabling greater social mobility, further education opportunities, and facilitating young people in achieving their full potential.

Raheem has spoken openly in the past about meditation, saying ‘‘it is a practice I have benefitted from greatly as a professional athlete, supporting me in balancing my thinking, focusing, and diminishing external noises…there is no doubt that the practice of meditation has enabled me to perform at the highest level consistently.’’

Students were asked to submit design ideas for the room and their interpretations of what a meditation space would look like. Three winning designs were chosen and the students worked with an interior designer to bring their visions to life.

Bandini Kamath, Interior Designer from Bandini Designs commented, ”It has been a pleasure to work with the Raheem Sterling Foundation, Headspace, and Ark Elvin Academy on this wonderful project to transform a classroom into a meditation room, a very necessary space for children and young adults. Once you enter the room and choose one of the inviting seats, the serene colours, ambient lighting and restful music helps relax your shoulders, calms your mind and takes you to a tranquil space. This can change your whole mindset for the day and uplift your mood.” 

The meditation room is fitted with state-of-the-art facilities and lighting incorporating the Headspace flagship brand design.  The space has been decorated in bright and bold colours, with lots of comfortable seating for relaxation, to give students a calming and sensory experience.

Headspace’s International Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Louise Troen, comments, ”We are proud to provide a new, dedicated meditation room at Ark Elvin Academy to educate students on the benefits of mindfulness from a young age. We know from our research that meditation is proven to reduce anxiety and improve focus – key skills that help students navigate their way through school and life in general. We look forward to following their journeys into mindfulness, inspiring more students across the nation to take up a practice that can profoundly impact mental health, with just a few minutes of practice each day.’’      

Also, the Chair of Trustee’s for The Raheem Sterling Foundation Clive Ellington commented, ‘’We are delighted to be launching the Raheem Sterling Foundation Meditation Room at Ark Elvin Academy to give the students and teachers a calm and relaxed space to practice the art of mindfulness and meditation.

 ‘’We would like to thank Headspace for the donation to build this amazing space and we look forward to hearing how it is being put to good use!’’

The Raheem Sterling Foundation launched in November 2021 at Ark Elvin Academy and is powered by The Power of 7. This notion incorporates the vital parts of the Foundation’s core approach for better education, employment, enterprise, creativity, personal development, accountability, and social mobility.

“My Foundation is built on my experiences, successes and the many challenges I overcame, I now want to help young people achieve and be the best they can be.”

Raheem Sterling.