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Support Sought for Sensory Space

20 May 2022

Community College Gippsland (CCG) has launched an appeal to support the development of outdoor sensory spaces for students with mental health conditions.

The initiative aims to provide a safe space for students of CCG’s alternative secondary school, ECG College, to retreat when they are feeling overwhelmed, overstimulated or anxious.

According to CEO, Sue Geals, this kind of resource has never been more needed.

“As a school that caters to a significant number of students with mental health conditions, wellbeing is always key cornerstone in our approach to learning,” Ms Geals said. “But following the impacts of the pandemic, it is more important than ever to provide resources that really support our students to thrive.”

Ms Geals said that the student retreats could be therapeutic on a number of levels.

“The outdoor sensory spaces provide both short-term relief and long-term benefits,” Ms Geals explained. “There is an immediate impact in empowering the students to take control when everything gets too much; to move beyond the classroom and connect with nature.

“Over time, our students can also learn important techniques to self-regulate and self-soothe in a safe, supported way. These skills will serve them for a lifetime.”

With community support, the specially designed spaces will include natural, passive and active elements, including a nest-like swing to cocoon and calm the students.

“We are appealing to our incredible community to help us raise $50,000 to make our dreams of installing an outdoor sensory space possible for our Warragul, Leongatha and Pakenham campuses,” Ms Geals said. “With the end of the financial year approaching, we are hoping that people will want to contribute to a local not-for-profit that truly changes the lives of young people.

“As a registered charity, any donation over $2 is tax deductible and 100% of donations raised will contribute directly to the project.”

More information on the sensory spaces, including how to donate, can be found on the CCG website: www.ccg.asn.au/donate

For further information, please phone (03) 5622 6000 or email info@ccg.asn.au