CHILDREN can now chill out and relax in a newly refurbished nurture room.

An oasis of calm and tranquility has been created for pupils at St Mary's Catholic Primary School, thanks to the efforts of a Middlewich mum.

Gemma Dillon, who has two children at the school, raised £750 through a Just Giving page to give the room a makeover. Barclays match funded donations to help boost the appeal.

Gemma painted her own inspirational murals on the walls. An underwater seascape features a dolphin, fish, sea lion and aquatic plants.

Colourful rugs and recovered cushions create a warm, homely environment.

Furniture has been upcycled to give it a new fresh feel.

"The school's nurture room is used to help children develop in numerous ways academically, emotionally and socially," said Gemma. "The staff work incredibly hard to try and address many of these issues.

"I wanted to raise funds to enable the purchase of new resources for this unique and special place.

"The room and its specialist staff can help children with additional needs, speech and language difficulties or just to act as a peaceful and quiet place."

A green Hobbit Hole type pod has been created for pupils to escape and have time to reflect.

A special spray in the room releases relaxing, scented oils and there is a blackout blind to reduce light if necessary.

The imaginative upgrade has been welcomed by teachers, pupils and parents.

Headteacher Janet McKinlay said: "Gemma is very gifted and has done all the murals herself. She raised the money through crowdfunding, circulating the appeal to friends and parents.The room has been completely refurbished.

"It is a really nice safe space for children to go if they are feeling upset about something or just want a quiet time to talk.

"Children can have circle time where they can explore their feelings and emotions. It's all about wellbeing and mental health."

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The nurture room is also used for a range of other activities.

"We use it for guided reading, restorative justice and rewards," said Mrs McKinlay. "Every child can use it."