The Chamwell Centre Charity has launched an appeal to raise £5.1 million. A state-of-the-art Centre is to be built in the grounds of The Milestone School, Gloucester. Managed by the Chamwell Centre Charity, the Centre will provide a large hydrotherapy pool with exciting therapy and sensory equipment, facilities for physical therapies, rebound therapy and soft play, as well as an all-ability play and sports area.
The Centre’s atrium will contain a café, providing work experience for pupils of the school, a space for young enterprise projects and a fully accessible meeting place for the people of Gloucestershire.
One of the Centre’s main functions outside school hours will be to encourage integrated activities, such as scouts, guides, and youth groups, suitable for young people of all levels of ability. The facilities will provide a much needed venue for those young people who access local authority ‘Short Breaks’.
Although primarily for the 323 children of The Milestone School during the school day, at all other times the Centre will reach out to the wider community. This will include children with disability, such as muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy, who attend other schools and colleges, pre-school children as well as adults with painful conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, and people recovering from joint surgery and injury. It will offer much-needed facilities for people on ‘short breaks’, needing an exciting venue to spend a few hours with friends.
Milestone is one of the largest special schools in the UK and has been judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. The school has 323 children aged 2–16, from all parts of Gloucestershire. The majority of pupils have severe learning difficulties or autism, and many face the additional challenges of severe and complex medical conditions and physical disabilities.
Launching the appeal, Dame Janet Trotter, Patron of the Chamwell Centre Charity and Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, described the centre as a ground-breaking county model for best practice to support all ages in overcoming disability – and the training ground of future Paralympians!
We have talked with children, young people, families, adults and professionals about their needs and their perception of the gaps in current provision. We have reflected their needs and aspirations into our blueprint plan for the Chamwell Centre. This will be a unique model of best practice, overcoming disabilities, setting new targets and achieving new goals.
Our plans – see our new building and garden plans – click here