Pupils with additional needs at a school in Newcastle are experiencing an elevated level of care and development, courtesy of a £100,000 investment in a cutting-edge sensory motor suite.
The Hellens Sensory Motor Suite – named after its biggest supporter, civil engineering firm Hellens Group, which raised £65,000 to help make the development happen – has opened at Percy Hedley School in Forest Hall.
The new facility includes a sunken trampoline and ceiling tracking to support hoisting children on and off it, and to support with walking practice. There is a sensory and soft play area with toys, tunnels, battle ropes and a swing with an array of specialist attachments.
The school previously had a smaller, standard, above-ground trampoline which limited who could use it due to a height restriction. The suite has new flooring and is now multifunctional as the new trampoline can be hidden under the floor to allow the room to be used as a sports hall too.
The space will be used for rebound therapy and to develop motor skills as well as help children regulate so they can engage in learning more effectively and with greater independence.
The Percy Hedley Foundation has two schools, one college and four specialist residential care homes in the North East which support people with physical and learning disabilities to reach their goals in life, as well as supporting their families.
“We have been bowled over by the generosity of the north east business community which has rallied to support our fundraising efforts in our 50th year in business.Kate Hellens, managing director of Hellens Group
“We are absolutely thrilled to be able to support this fantastic facility at Percy Hedley Foundation, delivering something that all children can access, alongside a legacy we are truly proud of.”
“The impact this new suite will have on our pupils will be long-reaching and was much-needed. We’re very grateful to Hellens Group for their support in making this wonderful facility a reality.”Louise Horsefield, head of fundraising at The Percy Hedley Foundation