Special school set for Sudbury Fun Run to raise funds for new play area

SUDBURY: Hillside Special School'Hillside Special School, Hitchcock Place, Sudbury, Suffolk'Nine members of staff at Hillside Special School will be pushing two wheelchair-bound pupils around the Sudbury Fun Run Course on Good Friday, to raise money for the school.'LSA staff Simone Fisher, Jo Ward and Kay Harling'Picture Mark Westley
SUDBURY: Hillside Special School'Hillside Special School, Hitchcock Place, Sudbury, Suffolk'Nine members of staff at Hillside Special School will be pushing two wheelchair-bound pupils around the Sudbury Fun Run Course on Good Friday, to raise money for the school.'LSA staff Simone Fisher, Jo Ward and Kay Harling'Picture Mark Westley

A school for children with special needs will continue its £50,000 fundraising drive next week, when two pupils are pushed in wheelchairs around the annual Sudbury Fun Run.

The children will be steered along the five-mile course on Good Friday by nine members of staff at Hillside Special School, plus parent Sarah Roper.

It will be the latest in a series of fundraisers which are aiming to pay for a new mobile soft play area for the students.

Mrs Roper’s daughter Megan, one of the children using a wheelchair, has attended Hillside for seven years.

She was born with complex epilepsy, developmental delay and dystonia, but her mother says she has made huge progress with her communication skills.

“It’s a world of difference,” Mrs Roper told the Free Press.

“When Megan was 18 months old, they told us that Megan would never smile, communicate, walk or talk. But she now uses her eyes and expressions to communicate and that’s all through the school.

“All of these kids deserve the best. When you get up to sports day, it makes you emotional because they adapt things so the kids can all take part. It’s really heartwarming.

“The support has been amazing. It’s nice for parents to be involved and help give back something to the school.”

Other fundraisers held so far include a quiz night at the Hawkedon Queens Arms, which received £615 in donations, and a coffee morning in St Andrew’s Church, which collected £315.

There are plans ahead for more events, such as a concert and a summer fair.

Michelle Kelly, Hillside Special School headteacher, said: “We are so grateful for the efforts of all those that fundraise for us.

“In the current climate, where budgets are challenged, fundraising can focus upon enhancing the lives of these children that face daily struggles and some with life-limiting conditions.

“At Hillside, we aim to give our pupils an opportunity to choose from a wide range of experiences they may not otherwise have access to and, through this, we hope that they will flourish.

“We are trying to raise money to create a soft play area that will be totally accessible for all pupils, where they can be immersed in a range of sensory experiences.”

The Sudbury Fun Run takes place on March 30, starting at 9.15am.