The Henry Surtees Foundation donates £14,576 to Valance School, Westerham, Kent

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Following a recent visit to Valance School, the trustees of the Henry Surtees Foundation have made a donation of £14,576 towards specialist play equipment to further enhance the personal development of their disabled students.

The donation will go towards specialist ‘wheelchair’ friendly outdoor equipment to test, challenge and stimulate pupils’ sensory and motor skills. The play area will include different textured surfaces, gradients, a covered tunnel in which pupils will experience smells, sounds, textures and lighting as well as an adapted swing and trampoline, and a dipping pool where children can safely study pond life. The area will be covered with a sail awning to provide the children protection from the sun completely transforming the area.

Valence was founded in 1951 and is a special residential and day school for children and young people aged 4 to 19 with physical disabilities, life limiting conditions and complex medical needs and is the only State school of its kind in the UK. Ninety five per cent of the children that attend Valence School are power wheelchair users. Many have four- limb cerebral palsy and are non-verbal or have life limiting conditions, which prevents them from “playing” and experiencing some of the playground thrills that more able bodied children can access every day. So this new play area will give these special children a taste of what most of us take for granted – the ability to see, touch and smell some of natures wonders in a safe environment along with some much appreciated playground  equipment and the continuation of the whacky wheelchair races and trips to such places as Bewdley.

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