Now that the summer holidays have drawn to a close, one local high school student has used the break to create a new area named The Sanctuary, within their school’s Learning Zone, with help from the team at IKEA Belfast.
Chelsea Smith, a Year 11 pupil at Ashfield Girls’ High School, wanted to create a sensory space at the school’s Learning Zone for pupils who suffer from anxiety.
Beverley Cripps, Head of Junior School was so inspired by Chelsea’s conscientious proposal that she put forward the idea to create the room to the School Principal. Shortly after this, Beverley reached out to IKEA Belfast to ask for some support with designing the room. The store is located just a few short minutes from the east Belfast school.
Beverley also liaised with a local autism support group to get advice on items that may help create a calming atmosphere for the room and worked with IKEA Belfast’s Interior Design team who addressed their needs by donating soft lighting from a SOLVINDEN LED lighting chain, comfy STOCKHOLM 2017 cushions, and a SANDARED pouffe.
Additional KALLAX Shelving units were also donated to keep the room free of clutter and keep items out of view using DRONA storage boxes, creating a fresh, clear space. Thanks to the donation of functional products from IKEA Belfast, Chelsea has created an everyday Sensory Space for pupils who are looking for a calming and quiet place to relax during school break times.
Gemma Drinkell, Marketing Specialist from IKEA Belfast commented; “At IKEA, our vision is to help create a better everyday life for the many people and we know how important a sanctuary is to escape busy corridors that can often be overwhelming. We were delighted to work with Chelsea to bring her idea to life and look forward to hearing feedback from the pupils in the new term.”
Beverley Cripps Ashfield Girls’ School Head of Junior School commented; “We are so grateful for IKEA Belfast’s donation to the Learning Zone’s Sanctuary. The room is not just a place to unwind but it is a safe place for pupils to support each other and address issues that may upset them.
“Looking after our pupils’ mental health and wellbeing is very important to Ashfield Girls’ School and we hope that new and returning pupils coming to the school will feel encouraged to use this space for their needs.”
For more information on IKEA’s work in the community visit www.IKEA.com.