Three young children in green leaves outdoor learning spaceDonations

The Friends of Collett School

Creating forest learning space for children with Special Educational Needs

The Friends of Collett School approached the Axis Foundation to help convert an overgrown, unused forest area to a forest school area for children with Special Educational Needs. And we were delighted to make a donation of £540 to create learning packs for the project.

“This is such wonderful news! On behalf of everybody at The Friends of Collett School, thank you very much for your donation and support – it is really, really appreciated” – Rhea Dickman , Fundraising Lead, The Friends of Collett School

Our forest learning space for children with Special Educational Needs will include outside blackboards, a fit pit for cooking, sensory equipment, a mud kitchen and bug hotel, a trim trail, a living fedge and a den-making area. All these fun and educational work stations will help Collett’s children with Special Educational Needs engage with nature in a safe and supportive space. The children will learn transferable gardening skills, develop communication and cognitive skills and improve their self esteem and confidence.

The Collett School for Special Educational Needs in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire will also invite local community groups and special and mainstream schools to use the forest learning area. More about the school here

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Child touches interactive wall in sensory room at Mapledown SchoolDonations

Mapledown School

Providing immersive sensory room for children with Special Educational Needs

The Axis Foundation granted £3,000 to Mapledown School, helping to fund a sensory room. This is an immersive environment that helps children to learn and captures their imaginations. It is highly interactive. Students touch imagery projected onto the walls which emits a response, like bubbles appearing in a virtual aquarium or stars in the night sky. The room also features an Eye Gaze station where students can play educational games with their eye movements, which are tracked using a detector.

Our donation paid for ceiling work that enabled projectors and an interactive music system to be installed and also purchased an APPlicator device that allows students who are unable to use their hands to interact with a tablet.

“We are grateful for the generous donation of the Axis Foundation which has provided more opportunities for our students to learn and explore through lessons and recreation” – Daniel Green, Mapledown School

More about Mapledown

Some of Mapledown School’s pupils have sensory impairments, physical difficulties or challenging behaviour. Therefore, the school’s resources include a multi-sensory room, a hydrotherapy pool, a soft play room and a fully equipped gym. This ensures that every child receives the support they need. Friends of Mapledown is a registered charity that helps to raise money for the school’s specialist equipment, which is usually very expensive by nature. The charity is formed of a small group of teachers and parents that also contribute towards gifts for the children and extracurricular activities where they can.

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Disabled pupils of Lonsdale School sit round a fire during camping trip.Disability

Lonsdale School

Special wheelchair help physically and neurologically impaired children achieve Duke of Edinburgh Award

Our award of £2,805 to Lonsdale School funded a new RGK All Terrain wheelchair which enabled 20 physically and neurologically impaired children pupils to complete their Duke of Edinburgh Expedition award.

The pupils, with the aid of the all-terrain wheelchair, were able to complete the award, walking, camping and enjoying the exercise and the great outdoors. Without the wheelchair, none of this would have been possible.

And, whilst it was invaluable in helping pupils complete their incredible adventure, the new specialist wheelchair will have long-term benefits for future pupils at the school too.

“The Duke of Edinburgh Expedition created lasting memories and for that we’re incredibly grateful. The equipment provided by the Axis Foundation will also benefit all our current and future students. It will give them the opportunity to be involved in a rewarding activity that they may otherwise not have been able to complete. We also took the All Terrain Wheelchair on our recent trip to Andorra for a week’s SitSki. The wheelchair was absolutely perfect for the conditions we were faced with and the donation was very gratefully received. Thank you” –  Sheena Harley, LSA 

More  About Lonsdale School

Lonsdale School caters for physically and neurologically impaired children It is based in Hertfordshire with around 90 pupils aged between 3 and 18 years. Here their motto is ‘Learning for Life” and they believe that pupils should enjoy being inside and outside of school: they participate in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme expedition to help pupils develop new skills outside the classroom.

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Child and teacher on Heltwate School trip to NorfolkDonations

Heltwate School

Helping students with learning disabilities gain life skills

The Axis Foundation donated £200 to Heltwate School to assist them in organising a school trip to for their students: all have severe special educational needs and some are on the Autism spectrum. The children spent a week away on the Norfolk Coastline. They stayed in two youth hostels and visited destinations and attractions around Norfolk.  Far more than a sight-seeing exercise, this school trip enabled students with learning disabilities firstly to live a little more independently, and also taught them some basic skills such as meal preparation and tidying, cleaning and bed making. For some it was the first time, or the longest time, that any of them had spent away from home.

Our donation made the trip even more special: it paid for the students to take part in a boat cruise – on which some thoroughly enjoyed steered the boat; and we also contributed to a day trip to the North Norfolk Railway which was a real treat as many of the children love transport.

“We were blown away to receive such a generous donation from the Axis Foundation. I cannot put into words the difference it made to our trip. They enjoyed themselves immensely and the growth in confidence and self esteem during the week away was evident” – Kim Granger, teacher 

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Volunteers help to build sensory garden for Corbets Tey SchoolDonations

Corbets Tey School

Sensory garden for children with complex learning needs

Corbets Tey School is a school for children and young people aged 4 to 19 with Complex Learning Needs. There are 155 students at Corbets Tey, all with special educational needs including communication and interaction difficulties, sensory and physical needs and autism.

Children here will benefit from a sensory garden funded by Swan Housing and The Axis Foundation. The materials for the project were joint-funded by a donation of £5,000 from the Axis Foundation and Swan Housing Group. The sensory garden has several beds and paths, all providing different sensory experiences. As the pupils move through the garden, they will experience a range of sights, sounds, smells and feelings.

“This a wonderful project and we are indebted to everyone who took part. The sensory garden will offer a significant improvement to the school’s facilities. The children will benefit from having a wonderful new environment to develop in a multitude of ways. Our children will love using the garden to work and collectively experience sensory enrichment” – Mr Colin Arthey, Corbets Tey School Headteacher

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