New counselling room for Walmer Estate school

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Walmer Estate Primary School counselling room, from left, are Otto Foundation CEO Dr Frouwien Bosman, Otto Foundation chairperson Zephne Ladbrook, Community Keepers executive board member Andre du Plessis and Walmer Estate Primary School principal Denize Kellerman.

Walmer Estate Primary School unveiled its new counselling room on Wednesday November 16.

The safe haven for pupils and teachers was made possible by work done by non-profit Community Keepers with financial supported provided by the Otto Foundation and a financial institution donor.

Meriel Bartlett, from Community Keepers, said: “Many children are living in survival mode as a result of adverse childhood experiences, including poverty. If not tended to, this trauma can result in a spiral when they are at risk of anxiety, depression, motivational deficit, drop-out, self harm or harming others.”

Community Keepers will provide the school with a resident care facilitator and a social worker. “The school can also call on our team of registered counsellors and counselling psychologist and educational psychologists, whenever needed,” said Ms Bartlett.

The room has two counselling cubicles and a reception area that can accommodate group-therapy sessions.

Principal Denize Kellerman said: “This partnership strengthens the school’s efforts in teaching the pupils healthy social skills and how to cope when encountering challenges in life.”

A counselling cubicle inside the room.
A sand tray is one of the therapy tools inside the counselling room.