Words by Smiley Team
Teachers are joining together and wearing matching tees – in both a celebration for the profession, and in support of the charity Home-Start Watford and Three Rivers.
The ‘Teachappy Tees’ are created by Adrian Bethune, the founder of Teachappy, an organisation putting wellbeing at the heart of schools.
As a cheerleader for the teaching profession, he was looking for ways to support and celebrate teachers and school staff. “The past few years have been extremely tough on schools and educators but there is still a huge amount of pride amongst teachers for what they do,” he says. “We wanted to find a simple way to help them express that!”
Alongside his team, Adrian set about coming up with designs that teachers would be proud to wear: simple, classic, but bold. They also created tees with Early Career Teachers in mind with the RESPECT slogan.
“The first time I wore my Teacher Tee in public was a real test of mettle,” says Adrian. “They're a bold statement and a declaration of a large part of who I am. I noticed people reading the T-shirt and almost smile and nod as a respectful gesture.
“The truth is the vast majority of the general public have a huge amount of respect for teachers, especially after their experiences of homeschooling! We should be proud of the work we do."
The tees have been bought from teachers around the world, from those within the UK, to as far as Bahrain.
“We were determined that our Teachappy Tees should look good AND do good,” says Adrian, "that's why £1 from every t-shirt sale goes to our charity partner, Home-Start Watford and Three Rivers.”
Why Home-Start? “Teachappy exists to do good in the world which is why we donate at least 5% of our profits to good causes through our annual charity partnerships,” he says. Adrian had connected with Home-Start in early 2021 after their then CEO, Emma Power, attended one of Teachappy's workshops on the science of wellbeing.
“We really believe in the work they do with helping to support families with young children through challenging times,” he says.
“Their purpose aligns closely with ours, particularly their focus on supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children and parents. And, as parents to young children ourselves, we feel a personal connection to what they do.”'
Home-Start Watford and Three Rivers supports almost 100 families with over 200 young children, using a network of 70 volunteers, focusing on those who are dealing with mental and physical health concerns, risk of domestic abuse, and behavioural issues. Volunteers offer regular support, friendship and practical help to families under stress – helping prevent family crisis and breakdown.
"They are there for parents when they need them the most because childhood can’t wait," adds Adrian. "It's a wonderful charity and we are so excited to support them and their great work."
BUY A TEE: The Teachappy Tees are limited edition – see if you can get hold of one in the Teachappy shop.
VOLUNTEER: Home-Start Watford and Three Rivers is in need of new volunteers to offer a couple hours each week to provide support and friendship to families within their own homes. Their next volunteer training course starts in September 2022. Find out more about Home-Start and its home-visit volunteering opportunities at home-startwatford.