Fundraising ‘lift-off’ for new, accessible accommodation!

02 NOV 2020

A £28,500 grant from Allchurches Trust has helped a school for children and young adults with disabilities in Stroud, Gloucestershire, take a leap towards achieving their dream of a new facility.

 
 
 
St Rose’s School was the vision of the Dominican Sisters of St Rose Convent in Stroud, who refused to turn their backs on those in desperate need. Over 100 years ago two disabled children were left at the convent. The Sisters quickly realised there was no state educational provision for the children and so founded one of the very first special schools in the country!
 
Growing this vision, St Rose’s is raising funds to build a place for students at the school to learn life skills like cooking, shopping, socialising with friends and even washing up! Quentin House will enable the school to accommodate twice the number of children that they currently can, and increase the size of bedrooms, bathrooms, doorways and corridors so that they are wheelchair friendly and accessible.
 
However, there’s still a long way to go before St Rose’s can make its dream of providing a state-of the-art £1.5 million home-from-home for its pupils a reality by Christmas 2021.
 
As well as funding from Allchurches Trust and the enthusiasm and energy of their pupils, staff and supporters, St Rose’s were able to call upon Olympic ski jumper, Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards to help their Quentin House appeal get, quite literally, off the ground.
 
All of the children at the school have complex health problems and learning difficulties, and most are permanent wheelchair users, but they are bouncing every day for St Rose’s Big Bounce! Eddie joined them to kick off the campaign, and they have already completed more than 337,964 of their 1.5 million bounce target – that’s 10 hours of bouncing a week for 38 weeks, in total.
 
The children have been using their new outdoor wheelchair trampoline, the larger indoor trampoline for their re-bound sessions and they've even added a mini bouncer to reception, so all visitors, staff and families can join in and add to their bounces.
 
Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards, said: “St Rose’s children receive a wonderful education, are valued and supported. This much-needed residential centre will enable them to reach their full potential.”
 
The children who attend St Rose’s face enormous challenges in communicating, in learning and in mobilising. But, in the nurturing environment of the school and residential centre, they learn life skills that enable them to be as independent as they can be. 
 
Not only do these young people need to be in a safe and caring environment, but those environments need to be uniquely adapted to the challenges they face. Many struggle with loud, echoey spaces, and many have visual impairments which means they find it tricky to work out which room they are in. In St Rose’s Georgian building, it’s difficult to even turn wheelchairs around in some rooms. 
Dylan helping towards the Big Bounce
Dylan Nobes is 15 and has Cerebral Palsy. He has been at St Rose’s since he was two years’ old and is the Fundraising Ambassador for the St Rose’s Big Bounce appeal. He said: “I think I speak for the whole school when I say independence is key to moving on. I’m proud to be helping with the fundraising and to help future students grow and thrive in this brand-new part of our school.”
 
Jeremy Noles, Head of Grants and Relationships for Allchurches Trust, said: “As a school local to our headquarters, we know St Rose’s well, and we’re in awe of the wonderful work they do to support the growth and independence of their pupils and cater for their individual needs. We’re glad our grant will take St Rose’s closer to their fundraising target and we can’t wait to see the amazing new facility as it progresses. We’re encouraging staff to join in the bounce too!” 
 
To show your support for this life-changing project, you can donate, or join in with the Big Bounce, at www.justgiving.com/campaign/bigbounce 
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