The newly transformed playing field at Brooke School, Rugby was unveiled on Saturday 15th October by former British Lion, England and Leicester Full-Back Tim Stimpson, and the Mayor of Rugby thanks to funding from the DHL UK Foundation.
The Transform It! programme, run in partnership with Groundwork, helps to fund projects that benefit disadvantaged young people across the UK. DHL staff can apply for grants of up to £10,000 as well as enlisting the help of their fellow DHL employees to volunteer their support on the project.
A grant of £10,000 was secured by Nathan Thomas, DHL HR Business Partner who enlisted the help of over 20 volunteers from DHL in Rugby to totally transform the once flooded site into an all-purpose multisensory beach school – a place where the students will experience den building, cooking, sensory learning, pond dipping and rock scrambling.
The beach will be used for active, practical and flexible learning and will help the students to develop creativity, confidence and imagination as well as promoting their exploration, investigative, physical and problem-solving skills. Pupils will be involved in maintaining, developing and respecting their environments in this magical new transformed space.
Over 300 people from the local community came along to the opening event to celebrate the beach and say a big thank you to all the people that have made it happen. Visitors enjoyed an ice cream, coconut shy, sticks of rock, hook-a-duck, Giant Jenga, treasure hunt, rock scramble, comedy photographs, sandcastle competition - or simply chilled out on a deck chair.
Nathan was also awarded the 'key to the beach' by the school in recognition of his hard work in making this project a reality.
Chris Pollitt, Head Teacher at Brooke School said:
"I’m overwhelmed by the success of the project, especially today as we see for the first time the positive impact the beach will have on the children.
"What's great about the new space is that it offers different beach environments to children with quite complex special needs in a safe environment. As educators, we get so tied up in focusing learning on sitting down at tables. Learning should be really exciting, dynamic and creative in order to inspire children.”
"Transform It! has really lived up to its name. This has been a very ambitious project, which was made possible by the collaboration of a number of different businesses.
"I am proud to have been a part of this project and that Transform It! has helped us to bring some magic into these children’s lives, many of whom have never been to the beach, and provide the legacy of an enriching future learning experience.
"The DHL UK Foundation has helped to bring the seaside to the Midlands!"
For more information about the DHL UK Foundation - Transform It! programme please click here.