Variety, the Children’s Charity, not only provide support to individual children and their families but they also work closely with many amazing schools in challenging circumstances across Yorkshire.
They have witnessed, first-hand, their insufficient means and desperate need for facilities. The severe lack of resource is sadly hindering incredible, dedicated teaching staff from helping their pupils reach their full potential. In May 2016, following a section 5 OFSTED Inspection, Green Meadows Special Educational Needs School in Guiseley was judged to be inadequate in all areas, including safeguarding and was duly placed into Special Measures. A new leadership team was deployed to the school and the change of culture has had a profoundly positive impact on the pupils. However, they can only take the school so far with the very limited resources they have and they are now relying on Variety and the ‘Big Build’ to give their pupils what they vitally need.
Charlotte Farrington, Regional Development Director at Variety commented “The project at Green Meadows is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when the private, public and third sectors work together. These Big Build projects have only been possible thanks to the incredible people that so generously put their hand up to get involved and play their part in these transformative, legacy projects which will benefit not only the children now, but generations to come”.
Darren Stubbs added “We are a local company and we are proud to support local charities and organisations. We helped out with Variety’s first Big Build project at Springwater, and when the call for help came in for Green Meadows, we were only too happy to help again. Along with our JV partner, Henry Boot, we are contributing £20,000 to help Variety bring this project to fruition. We hope that our support, and that of other like-minded companies, are giving the necessary means to transform the lives of our local children”.
Prior to Variety’s involvement, Green Meadows Special Educational Needs School in Guiseley was severly under resourced. With the help and support of the Yorkshire commercial and residential property sectors, Variety have transformed this site into a state-of-the-art environment where staff are re-energised to teach, and children excited to learn.
This project has taken place in a number of phases. The first phase created a series of small sensory breakout rooms, vital to the development of the pupils at Green Meadows as it can help with stimulating the brain, improving sensory processing systems and social skills such as communication and cooperation.
The second phase gave the early years facility a complete makeover and is where the funding from Stonebridge Homes has been put to good use. The works undertaken included a complete refurbishment of all the classrooms including new floors, decoration throughout, new doors and brand-new early years classroom equipment for the children to play and learn. In addition, the defunct kitchen/servery have been turned into a brand new kitchen and home economics room, which will enable pupils to develop important life skills. The final phase of the project is the outdoorspace, and this work will begin in the summer of this year. This will include a complete revamp of the playground area, so it can be enjoyed by the pupils of Green Meadows for years to come.
Photo shows (left to right) Mark Wildin (Stonebridge Homes), Gavin Hosford (Head of Green
Meadows School) and Holly Abbott (Variety).