It’s a sad reality that schools nationwide are feeling the bite of long term budget cuts, putting even basic services and routine maintenance at risk.
Nowhere is the impact more cruelly felt than specialist faculties such as Cambridge’s Castle School, a registered charity providing complete care for children with complex physical, mental, behavioural and learning disabilities.
With a higher ratio of specially trained staff to pupils, current allocations often only just cover the salary bills. This leaves little for essential disability equipment such as hoists, motorised scooters, and wheelchairs, plus sensory aids including therapy balls and toys.
Desperate to help their school, the parents’ association of Castle School took the initiative. Having funded an indoor soft playroom through activities including raffles and sponsored bike rides, they started seeking companies to become ‘Friends of Castle School’.
For Jon Price, it was a request he couldn’t turn down. Head of Marketing at Complete Care Shop, the website offers over 3,500 disability, mobility, therapeutic and daily living aid products online. With a lifelong passion for helping disabled people maximise their independence, Jon was eager to help.
Jon says; “What makes Castle School exceptional is their focus on the children as individuals, and determination to offer so much more than the basics. They have a ‘Forest School’ for outdoor lessons and activities, which brings so many benefits: fresh air, exercise, stimulation, and working together. However, thanks to our good old British weather, wheelchair users are often unable to take part in this valuable activity.”
Not anymore. Compete Care Shop supplied 30 bright, colourful, bespoke wheelchair macs from their online range, enabling all the children to participate in safe, fun, outdoor activities. They are now keen to turn their relationship with Castle School into a long term cause and spread the word.
Jon adds; “Headmaster Chris Baker, his team, and the amazing parents form a wonderful community that tirelessly work miracles, every day. You can see the difference it makes to these children, which makes it outrageous that schools like these have to juggle and fight for even basic equipment. We’re looking at our product range to see what else we can develop, and urge any company or individual that can donate to 'join the family' at Castle. You only have to visit to recognise how special this place is.”