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The Milestone School

The Milestone School is one of the UK’s largest special schools, with over 300 pupils aged 2 to 16, all with severe and complex special needs, drawn from across Gloucestershire. It is a local authority school that has been awarded ‘Outstanding in all Areas’ by Ofsted. It is also a Teaching School, supporting mainstream schools in their provision for children with additional needs.

The Milestone School

The Milestone School is one of the UK’s largest special schools, with over 300 pupils aged 2 to 16, all with severe and complex special needs, drawn from across Gloucestershire. It is a local authority school that has been awarded ‘Outstanding in all Areas’ by Ofsted. It is also a Teaching School, supporting mainstream schools in their provision for children with additional needs.

Our History

The Milestone School was formed in 1997, from the amalgamation of three schools which shared the same campus. One of these was Chamwell and catered mostly for children with severe physical disability such as cerebral palsy. It had a wonderful hydrotherapy pool, which was opened in 1997. Although state of the art in its day, this pool is no longer fit for purpose and must be replaced. The school also lacked suitable outdoor play and sports facilities, the campus was unsafe from a safeguarding point of view and had a wish-list of special facilities, including a two storey soft play and sensory area, rebound therapy, opportunities for families to meet socially and for pupils to gain work experience.

It was also recognized that young people in the community with disability, such as pre-school children, those in mainstream school and recent school leavers from Milestone, had little or no access to hydrotherapy or facilities for ‘Short Breaks’.

Hydrotherapy in Gloucestershire is in very short supply and there were groups of adults, such as those with chronic arthritis, neurological and neuromuscular conditions who also badly needed hydrotherapy.

In 2014, a panel of interested parties from school, the local authority and organisations representing other possible user groups met together and drew up a wish list for a new Centre for fully accessible hydrotherapy, sports and leisure, based at The Milestone School but open to all who needed it. Feasibility studies were started and views canvassed from a wide range of potential users. From this, plans were drawn up for a new Centre, adjacent to the Milestone School. A lease for the land was agreed at a peppercorn rent for 100 years with Gloucestershire County Council and planning permission was granted in August 2016 for The Chamwell Centre.

The Chamwell Centre Charity was registered by the Charity Commission in July 2015 and launched a major appeal in October 2016 once all the planning was safely secured. The response of the public, local and national charities was immediate and in the first eighteen months, almost £3.5 million was raised.

In November 2017, Phase One, the outside works to the Milestone Campus and a wheelchair friendly adventure playground with outdoor games area was opened.

In August 2018, the enabling works for the main Chamwell Centre were carried out and the main building will be started in October half term 2018.

£3.4 million is already raised or pledged. Demand is clear for the full two storeys and the decision is made to revert to the original two storey plans, at an increased cost of £5.1 million (including VAT).

Historical Timeline

2014

June 2014
The Milestone School hydrotherapy pool is declared unfit for purpose and beyond repair.

July 2014
First meeting of school, county council, interested parties from local community and charities to examine needs of school and community.

July to December 2014
Committee formed to organize a major scoping exercise and feasibility study.

2015

2015
Initial plans for the new Chamwell Centre are drawn up. The Committee begins the process of registration as a charity with the formation of a board of trustees. Racerunning begins as a service of the new Centre.

July 2015
The Chamwell Centre Charity is registered with the Charity Commission and its limited company, Chamwell Development and Trading plc, is registered with Companies House.

2016

January 2016
Architects Quattro are appointed to draw up plans for a two storey building containing a hydrotherapy pool, two storey soft play, trampolining gym, therapy suite, atrium and café, with changes to the school campus and adventure playground.

August 2016
Gloucestershire County Council granted full planning permission and a 100 year lease at peppercorn rent.

October 2016
Appeal launched to raise £3.5 million to build the Chamwell Centre. Plans scaled down to one and a half storeys to reduce cost.

2017

August 2017
Our RaceRunners represent England at the World Championships in Denmark.

October 2017
Phase One of The Chamwell Centre is completed, including new adventure playground, improvements to campus and outside sports and games area.

October 2017
£3.4 million is already raised or pledged. Demand is clear for the full two storeys and the decision is made to revert to the original two storey plans, at an increased cost of £5.1 million (including VAT).

2018

August 2018
Enabling works are completed at the Milestone School.

October 2018 – 2019
Construction of the main building.

2019

Help us reach our target

We need your help to raise the £5.1m required to make the Chamwell Centre a reality and transform the lives of disabled children and adults across Gloucestershire.

£3.6 million

raised/pledged so far

£5.1 million

is our target

  • 70%
  • 70%

Thank you to everyone who has contributed. There are many ways to help the project: to find out more about how to contribute and about forthcoming fundraising events, please click here.

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© 2018 The Chamwell Centre | Registered Charity Number 1162321

The Chamwell Centre, c/o The Milestone School, Longford Lane, Gloucester, GL2 9EU