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Therapeutic Support

Therapies at Alt Bridge School

Alt Bridge School have a range of therapies and programmes, many of which are available through the many excellent services we commission to support students and their families.

Our unique offer of support brings together expertise from different disciplines, in order to assess and provide support for the holistic needs of our students. The services we work with offer the following;

  • Educational psychology services
  • Speech and Language therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Pet Therapy
  • Counselling
  • Coaching and mentoring for ASC students and their parents
  • Coaching and mentoring for neurodiverse students and their parents

The designated personnel from these services are introduced below, with a short description of the work they do in school.

KOOTH Counselling

My name is Tracey Regan and I am a face to face counsellor for Kooth, and have been for many years

Kooth counselling service is a service provided to children and young people age 11-19 years offering emotional support across Knowsley as well as other areas in Knowsley and the Merseyside area. It is an online and face to face service in Knowsley, giving our service users the option, depending on their own preference, as to how they would like to access support.

Counselling can be offered to support a range of different presenting difficulties.  Alt Bridge School is one of several schools I have worked with in Knowsley.  We have had a very successful relationship for the past six years and continue to work together to support youngsters well-being and emotional needs.

Kooth referrals can be supported/completed by the school mentors, and they are happy to support parents if you need guidance.

Below are the links for both accessing Kooth online and face to face referrals.

Face to face –

If you wish to register for Kooth online please go to the following website –  If accessing Kooth online, please for the purposes of confidentiality create a username rather than a real name.

OSSME (Autism Initiatives)

OSSME are delighted to have been asked to support Altbridge School and its students.  OSSME has provided an Outreach Support Service for Mainstream and Specialist Education for over 20 years. OSSME are part of Autism Initiatives and have a team of highly skilled and experienced practitioners who are trained to support children and young people with difficulties they may face in school on a day to day basis such as :-

  • Communication and Language
  • Managing and recognising emotions
  • Social interaction and Social communication difficulties
  • Sensory differences
  • Anxiety/ depression and many more.

Frances Burchess and Kate Maddocks are the Autism Inclusion Practitioners who work at Alt Bridge school during term time. They deliver interventions with children, either one to one or in small groups based on an identified area of need. Personalised strategies are developed and shared with students, school and home. Frances does this each Tuesday and Kate does this on Friday mornings.

Shine Therapy Services

Shine Therapy Services

Occupational Therapist

Sophie Ruffer is our Paediatric Occupational Therapist based for one day a week at Alt Bridge School.

“I work on an individual referral basis to assess the needs of the young people referred to me. I do this by looking at the young person’s physical, sensory or cognitive difficulties, to help them to achieve and maintain independence in activities (occupations) of everyday life. I am based in the Therapy Room 1 where I assess the young person’s individual’s needs and devise an intervention strategy report which facilitates the acquisition and development of skills. Occupations for children and young people include personal care (eg grooming, getting dressed or eating), learning (eg school) and socialising (eg playing with friends).”

Jo Whalley Counselling Services

Alt Bridge commission Jo Whalley counselling services (JWCS) to provide therapeutic play therapy to students who benefit from this service to support their social, emotional and mental health needs. Jo Whalley play therapy has already made a significant difference to the lives of Alt Bridge students.

Mental health issues can affect all aspects of both an individual’s life and those around them. Jo Whalley service provides play-therapy/counselling to support children to work through complex issues, some of which are listed below, in a confidential, non-judgmental, safe space, by specially trained and experienced staff.

JWCS can offer a range of therapeutic interventions to help the individual gain some control over his/her life and start to fulfil their learning and life’s potential.

Children, young people or adults who come for counselling are often experiencing a wide range of difficulties.

Some of these might include:

  • Behavioural problems at school/home
  • Abuse
  • Bereavement and loss
  • Bullying
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Neglect
  • Underachievement
  • Self-harming
  • Sad and hopeless feelings for no apparent reason
  • Anger or over reaction
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Anxiety/feeling overly worried
  • Being constantly worried about their parent or caregiver or family member
  • Feeling isolated/lonely
  • Decline in relationships at school
  • Losing interest in everyday activities
  • Poor concentration
  • Persistent nightmares and intrusive thoughts

Play therapy can help your pupils enjoy and achieve, feel safe, feel more positive and make a valuable contribution to school and their lives.

Dog therapy

Alt Bridge are proud to commission Hope’s Therapy Dogs as service which provides canine assisted therapy to students. Hope’s Therapy Dogs is a family business set up in memory of the founder’s daughter, Hope. Hope’s dying wish was that her Mum (Alison) would train her dog (Pippa) to become a therapy dog and help other children.

Currently Hope’s Therapy Dogs have 4 dogs and work in 14 schools, providing emotional support to 70-90 children in any given week. This is a service committed to excellence in delivering healing therapy to children whilst at the same time promotes happy dogs. We are always delighted to see our allocated therapy dog Lola in our wellbeing hub.

You discover more about the wonderful work of Hope’s Therapy Dogs at:

TPC therapy classrooms

We have recently converted two of our classrooms into therapeutic classrooms through the guidance and support of TPC Therapies. The classroom environments are calm and supportive settings where pupils can engage in learning and feel secure. The environments have been designed with trauma informed practices in mind.

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