Community rallies round to support Alnwick special school project

An appeal by an Alnwick school for a little help has snowballed into a big improvement project thanks to the local community.

Thursday, 30th April 2020, 7:00 am

Barndale House School colleagues Sharon Thompson-Pattinson and Phil Milburn issued a request for some spare paint to help them brighten up the outdoor area for pupils.

However, they have since been inundated with donations from local businesses and other offers of support.

“It was just a small project but it has really snowballed,” said Sharon. “I can’t thank people enough, the support has been overwhelming.”

Barndale House School.

She came up with the idea of giving the school’s tired looking outdoor area a makeover.

“I wanted to tidy it up to give the bairns a better outdoor learning experience,” she said. “Phil started decorating it but I put a flyer out asking for spare paint and local businesses started getting involved.

“Morrisons staff brought us plants and we’ve had donations from Homebase, Doves, Wilko’s, The Bonny Hoose and TK Breakwell Joinery.”

The school then set up an Amazon wish-list which has also been well supported – including the purchase of a sandpit.

“The parents have got involved, along with the staff and their families along with other members of the community,” said Sharon. “It really has been fantastic.”

Team Barndale are now working out how to make the most of the generous donations.

“Work has started but we need to have a think about what we can do,” said Sharon, a residential care worker. “Phil is going to make a mural with cartoon characters on one side and we also want to create a sensory garden so there is something for different age groups.”

Head teacher Daley Barber-Allen added: “We are absolutely overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity shown to our school.

“At a time when people are experiencing so much uncertainty, it is heartwarming that they are wanting to help us in this way.

“We are very lucky to be part of such a supportive community.

“I would especially like to thank Sharon for instigating this project and it will be so exciting when the children return to school to see all of the changes we have made.”

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