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Gecko Community

Contact Name
Emily Hartley-Heaven

Gecko Community is a Community Interest Company built on a combined 60 years experience working within alternative education, well-being and community support.

They are passionate about providing an alternative provision that offers innovative teaching and engagement in therapeutic projects whilst supporting students who struggle within mainstream education.

Gecko provide mental health support and re-engagement with learning for young people struggling with mainstream education. Their students are aged 8 – 20 years old and could have diagnosed or undiagnosed special educational needs. They are all experiencing anxiety or mental ill health, they have all experienced trauma and they are all at risk of exclusion or self-exclusion.

Sessions are one-to-one. This can be online or in person. They offer sessions in wellbeing, mentoring, projects and subjects such as english, maths, science and computer science.

Their sessions are unique in that everyone is student-led. One-to-one sessions give the young person the space to be themselves and feel safe doing so. For example, it might be a science lesson but this is based on a student’s own interests in the field of science. Allowing a student to say to a teacher, ‘this is what I am interested in’ and the teacher having the skills to support this, builds confidence and self-worth.

Gecko’s wellbeing and mentoring includes animal assisted activities with their trained agility dog Sunny, which supports a young person’s mental health. These sessions offer a student-led project that embeds wellbeing and self discovery into each session. The project involves working together on a topic or interest chosen by the student. Discussions and tasks will encourage an exploration of physical, emotional and social wellbeing both unique to the young person and those in the wider community.

21 April 2020
Last Updated
26 January 2022