STUDENTS at a school in Epping Forest can now benefit from a "safe and quiet space" in which to reflect following the unveiling of a mental wellbeing hub. 

Hillhouse Church of England Primary School, in Ninefields, Waltham Abbey, has opened its new Wellbeing Lodge on its site. 

The hub is has been opened to help make children feel more comfortable in opening up to their teachers.

Children will be able to speak to their teachers in the private space about their feelings and there will also be a counsellor to talk to at least once a week. 

There is also sensory equipment on hand for children with learning disabilities.

Shane Yerrell, ward councillor for Waltham Abbey, helped in bringing the idea to fruition, alongside fellow councillor Sam Kane.

After successfully receiving funding from Essex County Council work soon got underway. 

Shane said: "I would say people struggling with mental health is at an all-time high since Covid and it's been very difficult for lots of children.

"I'd like to say a big thank you to Sam Kane for applying for the funding and helping me through the application.

"We managed to raise £5,000 to help create and decorate the hub."

"It feels really special to have helped and to know the children now have a safe space to go to, where they can talk openly without being heard by other classmates.

"The Wellbeing Lodge is the children's own private space to be free and to discuss anything about their worries, doubts or about their work."

Jo Willcox, headteacher for Hillhouse School, says the community feels "so blessed" to finally have the Wellness Lodge. 

"This began as an idea after Covid and we all began to realise the fragility of some of our young people's mental health," she added.

"We wanted a safe and quiet space for the children to use for talking and receiving interventions to support them with opening up.

"We cannot thank you all enough for your continued support and for making Hillhouse the wonderful place we all love that enables our children to feel safe and have the space to talk, laugh and learn."