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Denefield School case study - protecting BIPOC Mental Health

A school that wanted to prioritise the mental health of their students of colour.

The Problem:

Denefield School approached us looking for work to ‘raise awareness of issues of race and racism and to empower our students to lead and become involved in school life.’

They had built a strong community of pupils from ethnically diverse backgrounds who were deeply passionate about having their experiences and voices heard and appreciated. Both Denefield and Matriarch were keen to prioritise the mental health of these students, ensuring they had the tools and support to navigate this.

The Solution:

We proposed a roundtable for the schools Anti-racism and inclusivity group which consists of BIPOC students (year 7-11) and staff, around 16 people. We aimed to empower students to have confident conversations, set boundaries and feel empowered whilst taking care of their wellbeing.

The 1 hour roundtable focused on how to protect your mental health and wellbeing as a student of colour whilst engaging with EDI topics at school. The roundtable was designed to be discursive with advice and practicalities throughout. We covered topics like:

  • The role of race in their lives

  • Frustrations and managing difficult conversations

  • Spaces of peace and joy in their identities

  • Visualisation activities

A post-session toolkit was created that included the content we covered along with extra tools on managing anxieties, self care and affirmations.


The product was built upon first hand experience of specific support needed for racial experiences. We ensured there was a deal of time allotted just for students to speak and be heard about their experiences, a space they often crave but can't find.


Along with creating space to speak, we wanted to ensure students felt equipped and confident. This is why we built practices and tools into the content and toolkit so they felt prepared to deal with situations and feelings that might arise.


We have a privileged position as a third-party educator. We're not teachers or lecturers. We took advantage of that position to open up a conversation they might not otherwise have felt empowered to access. We invited them to be vulnerable, safe in the knowledge it was confidential to that space.

The Outcome:

"It was particularly impactful having a safe space to talk about my opinions and also knowing it was a shared experience others felt also learning that me being who I am is valid." - roundtable participant.

This was one of our most memorable and impactful sessions we've ever delivered. 100% of the students wanted us back to work with them again. Being able to provide sessions that help support and heal generational trauma and patterns was a great honor and milestone for us as a business.


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