Primary dreams come true thanks to Lions
Hatton's school for bullied children can extend its help to primary pupils thanks to a surprise donation to pay for a new classroom.
Northleigh House School was given the £8,000 donation from the Warwick Lions Club - money that has paid for a new classroom so that a new era of special schooling can begin in September.
The charity handed over cash to staff at the privately-run school after fundraising to help make the staff’s dreams to reach out to younger children in need a reality.
The highly-praised school set up in 2012 after founders Viv Morgan and her husband Fred set out to do something for teenagers being so badly bullied that they could not stay in mainstream education.
They first opened up their 10-bedroom home to children across the country after reading the “heartbreaking” story of teenager Simone Grice who killed herself after being bullied at school.
Just a few years on and the once-private house now teaches 19 secondary school pupils - with its two founders being presented with a Pride of Britain Award last year.
And after being approached by council education bosses, wheels were set in motion for the help to extend to pupils aged under 11.
But with a quote of more than £8,000 to get the build up, staff say it would never have been possible so soon without the generous charitable donation.
Founder, Viv Morgan said: “Warwickshire County Council asked us if we could take in younger children so we set ourselves the goal of trying to raise enough money to build a new outdoor classroom.
“Fundraising began, but we were struggling to get to the final big figure.
“However, we got a call from Warwick Lions, who have been big supporters of Northleigh over the years, and who knew what we were trying to achieve.
“Out of the blue they presented us with a cheque for the full amount of the building costs, which enabled us to carry out the build immediately so that it will be ready for the new term in September.”
The town charity group held various fundraisers to raise the cash needed for the new wooden classroom, including a concert featuring the Caerphilly All-Male Choir earlier this summer.
A spokesperson for the charity group said members set about collecting funds to help the school’s great work, describing it as a “much needed” asset for the town.
The sum was raised as part of members’ Lions Clubs International Centennial Year Project for 2016.
And with the new classroom now in place, the school has turned its fundraising efforts to the next dream - a Northleigh House car.
Staff said that the car would help take pupils on trips, to visit sixth forms, and to work within the new pupils’ outreach programme.
Head teacher Jill Cornfield said: “The teachers use their own cars for this and as our pupils can come from further afield in Rugby, the miles do stack up.
“A small school car will really help us.”