Housebuilder’s mascot helps pave way for disabled pupils

Barratt Homes Site Manager Barry Kerr, top left on JCB Mascot Barry Barratt, and David Spreadbury-Troy, top left on dump-truck, with volunteers from DeLoitte and Buxted Constuction.
Barratt Homes Site Manager Barry Kerr, top left on JCB Mascot Barry Barratt, and David Spreadbury-Troy, top left on dump-truck, with volunteers from DeLoitte and Buxted Constuction.

This weekend, Barratt Homes’ mascot, Barry Barratt and dozens of volunteers from DeLoitte and Buxted Construction got together to lay a brand new, all-weather path at Ingfield Manor School, in Five Oaks, Billingshurst.

Barratt Homes, currently on site building the Martindale Place development in Southwater, along with Buxted Construction supplied 20 tonnes of crushed limestone to lay a path around the schools ‘fire circle’.

Ingfield Manor School is run by the disability charity, Scope and is acknowledged as one of the leading centres for Conductive Education in the UK.

The 60 pupils at the school are aged between 3 and 19 and have a range of abilities and associated learning difficulties arising from cerebral palsy.

As such the school has a number of unique facilities specifically designed to enhance pupils’ learning experiences.

One such facility is the ‘fire circle’, which is part of The Woodland Project and is located in a clearing in the adjoining woods; it was here the volunteers got to work laying the new path.

David Spreadbury-Troy, Woodsman at Ingfield Manor School explains: “We have a path that leads into the woods from the school, and wends its way to a clearing where our ‘fire circle’ is located. When you get to the clearing however, the path ends and the ground around the fire pit, although clear of trees, is bare earth.

“All of our pupils rely on walking frames and wheelchairs to keep mobile, so during the wetter months we were having real trouble with wheelchairs and walking frames getting stuck on the uneven, boggy ground,” he continued.

“The ‘fire circle’ is part of our outside learning environment, which aims to further enhance the education and enjoyment of our pupils. For those pupils who have sensory impairment; the smell, sound, heat and light of the fire provides a large amount of sensory input, and as such it is a really important learning tool for them. The ‘fire circle’ also has an important social element; it is surrounded by tepees, which allow the pupils to talk and hang out with each other in an informal atmosphere.

“Having made initial contact in the summer to explain the situation; we are now so grateful to DeLoitte for sending volunteers and to Barratt Homes, along with Buxted Construction for organising the crushed limestone. Buxted also came up trumps with a JCB, dumper and compaction rollers.

“The clearing is 400 meters into the woods, moving 20 tonnes would have taken hundreds of trips with a wheelbarrow!

“The path is fantastic,” added David.

Simon Wakerley, Contracts Manager at Barratt Homes Southern Counties helped organise the supply of limestone to the school and says of the donation: “When David Spreadbury-Troy contacted me in the summer I was more than happy to help. I got in touch with our friends at Buxted and we organised the delivery of the limestone.

“We have previously worked with Ingfield Manor School by donating some up-cycled timber, but we are thrilled to have helped in the construction of the all-weather path this weekend. We hope it will be beneficial and enjoyable for all the pupils, staff and volunteers at the school,” he continued.

“Our Martindale Place development is only a few miles away from the school and as a local housebuilder we are very keen to help out in the community when we can. And what worthier cause is there than helping the pupils at this fantastic school?”

Currently Available at Martindale Place is a selection of four and five bedroom family homes.

All homes come with a 10 year NHBC warrantee, while all fixtures and fitting benefit from Barratt Homes’ unprecedented 5 year guarantee.

Martindale Place enjoys a semi-rural location on the edge of Southwater.

For more information on Martindale Place please visit www.barratthomes.co.uk/MartindalePlace or call 01403 732632

For more information on Ingfield Manor School visit http://www.scope.org.uk/schools/ingfield-manor-school