On Wednesday 18 April 2018 ‘The Sanctuary’, an innovative new Play and Creative Arts Therapy Space, aimed at helping young people in Merton with the greatest social and emotional needs, opened at Cricket Green School!
This unique facility will help pupils across eleven Mitcham Town schools to explore and express their feelings through creative arts and play therapy, to help them deal with issues which may be preventing them from fully engaging in their education and reaching their full potential.
The main aim of the project is to raise young people’s self-confidence, self-esteem and social/peer relationship skills.
Kristina Burton, MTCT Development and Project Manager:’ We are proud of our learning community and the wonderful opportunity to expand our enhanced provision with high quality art therapy service. Mitcham Schools are true ambassadors of kindness, cooperation and innovation. It is an honour to be part of such a vibrant cooperative effort in building better futures for all.’
This unique facility will allow over 60 pupils with social and emotional difficulties and special educational needs a freedom of creative expression through play therapy this year. The project will run on a school referral basis and will take an evidence based therapeutic approach.
Rochelle Rajan, Play and Creative Arts Therapist: ‘As the Play and Creative Arts therapist at Cricket Green School, I am absolutely delighted to be leading this project in partnership with all Mitcham town schools. Given the increasing societal emphasis on the importance of mental health and wellbeing, I am privileged to be part of a school community, that understands and values the importance of their students’ internal state of being, as much as that of their education. One that takes every opportunity to make projects such as these accessible to their students. The space provides children an environment where they can voice their feelings through Play and Creative Arts, as Play becomes their language and creative tools become their words in ‘The Sanctuary’.
The Mayor of Merton Marsie Skeete also attended the opening of the new facility.
The development of ‘The Sanctuary’ has been supported by The Taylor Family Foundation:
Neville Shepherd, Trustee of The Taylor Family Foundation commented: “As a Foundation we feel passionately about supporting young people across Merton to reach their full potential in life. Art and play are wonderful outlets for young people to express their feelings, grow their confidence and develop the crucial social skills we all need to make our way in the world. We really value having the opportunity to support Mitcham Town Community Trust with this therapy space.”