Paralympian Louise officially opens Keevill Unit at Speenhamland School
The Keevill Unit, a brilliant learning space for children with physical disabilities, was officially opened today by Paralympian Louise Sugden. Louise is a former Speenhamland and Keevill pupil and has competed both as a former wheelchair basketball player and current powerlifter.
The final phase of an exciting building project at Newbury's Speenhamland School is now complete.
The Keevill Unit, a brilliant learning space for children with physical disabilities, was officially opened today, Tuesday, 26 April by Paralympian Louise Sugden. Louise is a former Speenhamland and Keevill pupil and has competed both as a former wheelchair basketball player and current powerlifter.
The Keevill Unit is part of an £860,000 transformation project funded by West Berkshire Council. The first phase saw the refurbishment of the Pelican Building, an existing structure on the school site into an inspiring learning environment for Early Years children. It now provides two new classrooms, a designated outdoor learning zone, accessible toilet and hoist for children with physical disabilities and extra indoor and outdoor space, for all pupils to enjoy.
When the Pelican Building was complete, work began to relocate the Keevill Unit for children with physical difficulties. The expanded area now provides two classrooms, a dedicated Special Educational Needs therapy room, an accessible hygiene room, two resource areas/office and a kitchen area.
Dominic Boeck, West Berkshire's Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education says, "This is a very exciting project that will benefit a great many children as there's now ample room for the children in Speenhamland's physical disabled resource to learn and access the specialist provision they need. I'm delighted that we were able to support this project which will enable all pupils at Speenhamland to reach their full potential."
Julie Lewry, Headteacher at Speenhamland says, "We are so excited with the opening of the new Keevill unit. Our Keevill pupils will definitely benefit from the ample space, modern facilities and specialist equipment. The new area will not only benefit their learning but also their physical development with designated areas for therapy and hygiene. We are extremely grateful for the funding and support from West Berkshire Council."
Louise Sugden, Paralympian and former Speenhamland pupil says, "I'm honoured to be asked to open the brand new Keevill Unit. My time as a pupil at Speenhamland, especially within the Keevill, allowed me to be very independent whilst giving me access to any support I needed to learn and get the most from my time at the school. It's a fantastic facility and I'm delighted to see it still supporting children with learning disabilities within West Berkshire."
Following the official opening ceremony, Louise participated in a question-and-answer session with pupils from across the school. The children have been inspired by her Speenhamland story and are keen to learn more about her achievements.