YOUNGSTERS are encouraging people to adopt a healthy attitude to get through this challenging year.

Children at The Ferns Academy are taking part in their own fun challenge to help them deal with the tough restrictions they and their family are facing during the pandemic.

They will aim to do 2,021 exercises before the Farnworth primary school breaks-up for Christmas.

The idea behind the "Passport to 2021 Challenge" is that exercise improves self-esteem, boosts the mood and as a result helps people cope with the current situation and reduces the risk of developing stress and depression.

The challenge will be officially launched on Monday, with the school already having taken delivery of stickers and passports to encourage them on their 2021 journey.

Danielle Broadbent, acting principal, said: "We will launch the Passport to 2021 Challenge on Monday with a virtual assembly.

"Children know something is happening, and we given hints about what is happening on social media. Both children and parents are getting very excited about it.

"There is a real buzz about it and it is something positive for families and the community to take part in during lockdown, which is hard."

Children taking part will be given a passport and a badge. On the passport, there are 21 boxes. The first 20 boxes are to be used to record each set of 100 exercises.

After each 500 is achieved, pupils receive a certificate.

All Northern Education Trust academies – of which The Ferns is part of – are taking part.

A spokesperson at Northern Education Trust said, "We want to try to give our students, our staff and our wider community something positive to focus on until we break up for Christmas. That is why we are launching our ‘Passport to 2021 Challenge’, in the hope that 2021 will be a better year.

"We want as many of our students, families, staff and the wider community to get involved as possible. Families could even choose to have a daily workout, with extended family joining on Zoom! The basic idea is that between now and the start of the Christmas break, everyone will complete 2021 exercises. For example, the physically fit may decide to do 500 sit-ups, 500 burpees, 500 air squats, 500 alternating lunges and 21 star jumps. Those less physically fit may decide to do something as simple as 1021 leg raises and 1000 fist clenches. The only thing that we ask is that people exercise safely and follow government guidelines in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those taking part are also encouraged to raise awareness or support ‘The Sick Children’s Trust’ and families who need support because of the impact this year has had on them.

The donations can be made on Go Fund Me page: