Hadrian School in Newcastle’s west end is undergoing a transformation as building work on a Rebound Therapy Centre is finally underway after a three-year quest to secure funding.
The school caters for pupils aged two to 11 years with a range of additional needs, including complex, severe learning difficulties and profound and multiple learning difficulties.
The new centre will provide pupils with the facilities needed to enhance their learning experience while helping to improve their fitness and communication skills.
Planning permission for a new sports facility at the school was granted in 2013 but it has taken until early this year for the school to gain sufficient funding from numerous sources and make a significant start to its Rebound Therapy and HEADS Training Centre project.
Local entrepreneur Rob Armstrong is one of the school’s main benefactors and it’s thanks to his generosity – along with the expertise and support from Building Surveyors Ltd, James Christopher Consulting, and many other local businesses – that the Rebound Therapy Centre is becoming a reality.
Head teacher Christopher Rollings explains: “Rebound Therapy uses trampolines to provide therapeutic exercise and recreation for people with a wide range of special needs.
“These include participants who may have profound and complex learning difficulties, severe and moderate learning difficulties, motor coordination difficulties, dual sensory impairments or sensory processing difficulties.
“The therapy is used to facilitate movement; promote balance, relaxation and sensory integration; increase or decrease muscle tone; and improve fitness and communication skills – all of which are vital in providing pupils with an improved quality of life and sense of wellbeing.
“This will be the first bespoke Rebound Therapy Training Centre in the UK and will be the base for our extensive HEADS Training offer.
“Thanks to the amazing support of Rob, Building Surveyors Ltd, James Christopher Consulting, and other North East businesses, we’re able to offer our pupils this fantastic therapy that will improve their all-round wellbeing.”
Hadrian School opened in September 1999 and has since established itself as an OFSTED outstanding school, winning many accolades such as Charter Mark, Governor Mark, Arts Mark Gold and Investors in Children, as well as attaining Financial Management Standard in Schools and the Eco Schools Green Flag Award.
Rob Armstrong has used his links to business and industries along with financial support to get the project moving.
He says: “When you meet the amazing children at Hadrian, you know you want to help them in any way you can. We’re overjoyed that we’ve now broken ground after years of this facility being in the planning.”
Newcastle-based Building Surveyors Ltd is a leading multi-disciplinary chartered surveyors firm which offers a range of commercial and residential professional property services. The team is acting as lead designer, project manager, cost consultant and health and safety advisor on the project.
Director Chris Jude says: “As a North East-based business, it gives us great pleasure to use our skills and expertise on projects such as this that will benefit our local communities.
“The new centre is taking shape and we’re proud to be part of creating a facility that not only is the first of its kind in the UK, but will also undoubtedly enhance the learning experience and overall health and wellbeing of so many young people in our region.
“We look forward to seeing the completion of the project and handing it over to the staff and pupils at Hadrian School to enjoy for many years to come.”
Craig Higgins, director at James Christopher Consulting, which completed the geo-environmental assessment of the site as well as the civil and structural design, adds: “It’s nice to be in a position to help local children. There have been so many local businesses which have donated materials and/or services to this project. It really has been a case of construction coming together.”
Sue Lee, office manager at James Christopher Consulting, continues: “When you walk into Hadrian School for the first time, what strikes you is how calm and welcoming the building is. The next thing that occurs to you is how happy and relaxed the children are.
“I first encountered Hadrian School when my own children were babies and part of local swimming group, Puddle Ducks. I drove from Low Fell to the west end of Newcastle every Tuesday evening to meet fellow ‘Puddle-Duckees’, to splash about in the fabulous facility of the lovely, warm hydrotherapy Hadrian Pool.
“Eight years on and my children can swim and those precious visits to Hadrian School are a thing of the past. However, along with colleagues at James Christopher Consulting and Building Surveyors Ltd, I have the pleasure in being involved again with the school – albeit in a different context.”
Christopher Rollings concludes: “We are so grateful to Rob and all the local businesses that have donated their time to this project which, when complete, will make a huge difference to a number of our pupils here at Hadrian.
“We are all looking forward to the official opening in the summer; however we are still fundraising to ensure we can fill the new centre with our wish list of resources. Some of the events to look out for are our Summer Ball on Saturday June 24, at Hilton Hotel NewcastleGateshead, and family fun days at INTU Eldon Square from July 1 to 2.
“Seven members of our staff will also be cycling from London to Brighton on September 17.
“If readers of North East Times can support these events or can assist in any way at all, please do contact the school.”
James Christopher Consulting