Paralympian set to open fete

Ingfield Manor fete is being opened this year by a Paralympic Gold medallist Dan Bentley, who is also an ex-pupil of the school.
Ingfield Manor fete is being opened this year by a Paralympic Gold medallist Dan Bentley, who is also an ex-pupil of the school.

Paralympic gold medallist and former pupil of Ingfield Manor School Dan Bentley is set to open this year’s Grand Summer Fete.

The event, organised by the Friends of Ingfield Manor at the school in Five Oaks, Billingshurst, will start at 2pm on Sunday June 14.

Dan was a Boccia Team Paralympic Gold Medal Winner in Beijing 2008, and a Boccia Team Paralympic Bronze Medal Winner in London 2012. He is also an ex-pupil of Ingfield, attending the school as a primary pupil up to the early nineties.

He will introduce the start of the afternoon with Horsham Youth Concert Band, now a regular at the fete, and their popular brand of rousing music.

This will be followed by a unique performance of African Drumming by the older students at the school.

Later in the afternoon the crowd will enjoy a demonstration of Kendo by Rikkyo School and then admire the skills of the Horsham Bluebelles.

Dan said: “I’m delighted to be able to help The Friends of Ingfield with their well-known annual fete. The Friends put in a huge amount of work to make it a success, and to raise much-needed funds for the school and school for parents.”

Hazel Darby, school principal, said: “It is an honour and a pleasure to have Dan back helping in this way. We are always so grateful for the hard work and support of The Friends.

“I’m looking forward to a great afternoon for all the family, and of course we hope to beat The Friends takings last year of over £13,500 for the school.”

Once again a big attraction is the unique and ever popular 10¼”gauge steam railway, Ingfield Light Railway, which is only open to the public once a year on fete day.

All the family will be able to enjoy a massive bouncy castle and fun fair attractions, trampolines, ‘Owls Out and About’, radio controlled model display, fair organ, face painting, stalls, sideshows and refreshments.

Don Newport, chairman of the Friends of Ingfield, said: “We are looking forward to everyone enjoying the afternoon, and all helping support the school. Also people will have a chance to find out more about our Woodland Project – an exciting development funded by The Friends, to create an area as an environmental ‘outdoor classroom’ and ‘working woodland’ for Ingfield and for other schools.”

Ingfield Manor School is a day and weekly boarding school for primary and secondary aged pupils with cerebral palsy or similar. It is run by the disability charity Scope and has a unique place in the development of Conductive Education in this country. The Dame Vera Lynn Trust School for Parents works with children aged 0 to 5 and their families.

The Friends of Ingfield is a small voluntary group of local people dedicated to supporting the work of the School and School for Parents. The fete is their main event of the year.

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