Ms Harper, who also raised a parliamentary motion to celebrate the students’ work, joined lecturers and students online to congratulate them on their fantastic achievements helping people across Stranraer and Wigtownshire as part of the Leonard Cheshire Can Do Programme.
The programme saw students focused on improving mental health and wellbeing by working out ways to help themselves and the local community in a meaningful way by offering a range of online activities.
Activities included: mixed martial arts and mindfulness, meditation and breathing, and talking about the positive impact pets can have on mental health. Students also produced named teddies to accompany short stories written for people who use the befriending service.
Ms Harper heard more about the activities from the students during the awards event and was pleased to hear they had enjoyed the opportunity to meet one another, to learn new virtual skills and to try new activities – including flower arranging - with Newton Stewart business Tammy’s Sweet Stems.
Ms Harper said: “I was delighted to be asked to be key speaker and praised students for their hard work enriching the lives of others as ‘Can Doers’ during such a difficult time for everyone.
“As convenor of the Mental Health Cross Party I particularly liked the fact students had chosen mental health as their theme.
“I absolutely loved the ideas they came up with and I could relate especially to the virtual therapet sessions as my two dogs have been a great support.
“The students’ window displays as well as creative and light-hearted comic books have all been lovely, thoughtful ideas and will have been enjoyed by many. I have also been impressed with the Stranraer Listening Ear Service to help prevent loneliness.
“This project has been a great example of how the community, the college and the third sector have been able to come together for a great cause and this must be celebrated - a massive well done to all involved”.