Big Build aids special school

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Leading companies from the region’s commercial property community have come together to support Variety Yorkshire’s latest project, The Big Build, transforming Springwater School in Harrogate.

Harrogate-based special needs school Springwater caters for a number of Yorkshire’s most profoundly disabled children between the ages of 2–19 years, all of whom have a wide range of complex, life limiting and life-threatening conditions.

In January 2017, Charlotte Farrington, Yorkshire Regional Development Director for Variety, visited the school to learn of its restrictive site, limited outside space and acute lack of resource.

There was a lack of shelter in the playground, no storage, sensory room or trampoline area (used for rebound therapy).

As a result, Charlotte launched The Variety Big Build at their annual Yorkshire Property Awards held at Rudding Park Hotel in May - to address the urgent needs of Springwater.

Phase 1 of this project, to create a state-of-the-art sensory room and soft play area, was completed in April 2018, thanks to the generous support and donations from companies such as The HACS Group and JPG near Harrogate. Endless LLP helped pay for the sensory equipment. The Caddick Group also made a substantial donation, which will help build the playground; phase 2 of The Big Build.

Phases 2 and 3; an all-inclusive playground and a purpose-built rebound therapy facility, costed at just short of £1 million, are now being undertaken. Stonebridge Homes completed the site strip before Christmas and GMI, in partnership with Kier Property, are now well underway bringing to life Re-form Landscape Architecture’s design, under the project management of Gent Visick.

Charlotte said: “After meeting Springwater Head, Sarah Edwards and her fantastic staff, it was clear how passionate they are about the school, its pupils and the level of care given to each and every child.”

“I knew this required something bigger than we have ever done before and I cannot thank the generosity of the Yorkshire property community enough.

“This project will be life changing, not only for the children at Springwater now, but for generations to come – this is our sponsors’ legacy and they should be so proud.”

Sarah Edwards, Headteacher at Springwater said: “We look forward to the completion of the playground works as it will allow us to offer the very best provision to all of our children however complex their special needs.

“The work started with our school council who were considerate of what everyone needed outside - they want active areas, accessible areas, chill out areas and sensory areas - and I know that this will be achieved once the work is complete.”

All those involved in the project will be thanked at the Yorkshire Property Awards 2019, where the next Big Build project will be launched.