Community collaboration results in Mackie safe space

By bellmannews / October 13, 2021
room painted in soft grey with grey sofa and informal chair

From Aberdeenshire Council communications team –

A special safe space set up at Mackie Academy for pupils and teachers is already proving useful.

Thanks to £1,000 worth of funding from Raeburn, Christie, Clark and Wallace, Solicitors, the school converted a secluded space to become a room specifically dedicated for use as a quiet area where pupils can take time to reflect or where challenging conversations can take place in a calm environment.

Mackie Academy Head Teacher Louise Moir explained: “When we came back from the second period of lockdown, we knew that perhaps there were going to be greater demand around both our staff and our pupils’ health and wellbeing.

“We were also very much aware that many of the rooms are formal and make pupils and staff think they are in a classroom or meeting room. It is not going to be the best setting if you are having a conversation that may be quite difficult, challenging or emotional. The spaces are also quite public, so people don’t feel comfortable about the setting they are in.”

To resolve this dilemma, Mackie Academy with the financial support of local solicitors Raeburn, Christie, Clark and Wallace created a bespoke room called the Raeburn Room which is specifically designed for moments during the school day when a private space is required. The Stonehaven school also used funding obtained from the Scottish Government to meet additional costs.

The room was redecorated, painted with a calming colour, and furniture was added, including a comfy sofa, so the room could be used for a variety of activities and to make it look less like a classroom or a teaching space. It is used for internal one to one meetings with pupils and staff, small group work and on occasions when upsetting or difficult news needs to be shared with a pupil, whilst external meetings such as supporters catching up with their young carers also use this safe space.

Louise Moir added: “I am hugely grateful to Raeburn, Christie, Clark and Wallace for the support provided. We are a community-minded school, so it is great to be able to work in partnership with local business to improve the school.”

Callum McDonald, the Managing Partner of Raeburn, Christie, Clark and Wallace, said: “We have now been established in Stonehaven for over 30 years and our recent acquisition of Connons of Stonehaven has consolidated our place at the heart of the business community of the town.

”We were delighted to take the opportunity to support the school in creating the safe space at a time when it is needed more than ever. We hope that both staff and pupils of the school benefit from the facility for many years to come.”