Sproughton: Outdoor classroom starts to take shape at charity school

Volunteers Richard Crabtree and Alan Townsend attach the end piece of the new sensory garden at the

Volunteers Richard Crabtree and Alan Townsend attach the end piece of the new sensory garden at the Dame Vera Lynn Trust School for Parents in Sproughton. - Credit: Archant

WORK has started on a new outdoor classroom and sensory garden which will benefit children with cerebral palsy.

Plan for the new outdoor classroom at the Dame Vera Lynn Trust School for Parents in Sproughton.

Plan for the new outdoor classroom at the Dame Vera Lynn Trust School for Parents in Sproughton. - Credit: Archant

The Dame Vera Lynn Trust School for Parents in Sproughton is creating the outdoor space thanks to a grant of £4,652 from the Suffolk Foundation’s Port Community Fund.

Volunteer Simon Grew holds the door to the Dame Vera Lynn Trust School as it's drilled into place du

Volunteer Simon Grew holds the door to the Dame Vera Lynn Trust School as it's drilled into place during construction of the new sensory garden. - Credit: Archant

The school, which supports children under five with cerebral palsy and motor learning difficulties, ran a competition at Otley College to design the garden.

Students on the college’s horticultural course submitted designs.

Two designs, from students Jane Bailey and Carl Levett, were chosen and the final plan is a combination of both ideas.

The outdoor classroom is intended to be a sensory experience for the youngsters, allowing them to experience new sensations in a safe outdoor environment.

The garden will contain a water feature with a wipe-clean drawing board, a blackboard, rubberised tiles and safe sensory plants.

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Regional fundraiser for the trust, Sara White, said: “It’s all very interactive.

“The school takes a very holistic approach to learning.”

All the work’s being carried out by volunteers.

Eight volunteers started work on the garden and they have so far laid the decking and adjusted the door to allow for a ramp, making the garden wheelchair accessible.

Sara added: “Staff at the Dulux centre in Ipswich have stained all the fencing panels for us in their lunch breaks and they’ve provided a lot of the paint and stain.

“They’re also going to paint the outside of the school before the garden opens.”

The outdoor classroom and sensory garden will be officially opened in June.

The school in Burstall Lane, Sproughton is always looking for help with funding.

Sara said: “We are a charity that relies on voluntary contributions to stay open and we don’t receive any statutory funding.

“We support 20 children at the moment and it costs approximately £7,500 per child per year to access our services, which are provided totally free of charge.”

n To find out more about the school and how to support it, go to www.dvltrust.org.uk or call Sara on 01473 652880.

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