The Friends of the Mendip School PTA ran its second annual Spring Walk in Collett Park at 11am on Sunday 22 April. Last year the Friends raised nearly £700 towards the Mendip School’s swimming pool project. This year the Friends look set to raise even more – the total collected so far is over £1000 plus Gift Aid contributions with more expected.
The Mendip School is for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) from ages 4-19 . The School moved to its new purpose-built site at Bath and West Showground in Prestleigh in September 2016. Children attend the school from as far apart as Bristol and Wincanton, but most are from the mid-Somerset and Frome areas.
On Sunday morning, families gathered at Collett Park in Shepton Mallet and attempted to walk as many laps as they could around the park. For some of the children and families, this was a huge challenge. ASD can affect mobility in various ways, so everyone did what what they could within their abilities. The weather was still fair and families enjoyed the sunshine. Head of School Natalie Hanna attended with her young family and with school dog Chica.
The Mendip School is raising funds to build an on-site swimming pool. Many of the students at the school suffer from sensory issues and swimming can really help.
Friends Chair Verena Fuller said, “Our children badly need a swimming pool on-site. At the moment the School have to bus the children to swimming pools elsewhere. They don’t get to swim often enough and on one occasion, the children turned up to discover the pool was double-booked. That would be disappointing for any child, but for children with a condition like autism, it was very distressing.”
She continues, “Last year was our first as a new PTA at the new site of the school. This year we’re delighted to have more families take part and to raise more money.”
If anyone would like to support the Friends, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or see Friends of the Mendip School on JustGiving.com.