A crowdfunder has been launched for the second phase of a project to create an accessible sport and leisure hub, including a sport field, pavilion, horticulture area, forest school, and arts area, behind Foreland Fields School in Ramsgate.
Phase one of the Foreland’s Field of Dreams project has been completed by Walker Construction with the field being levelled and turfed, a new access road and turning circle laid, fencing erected around the site, and installation of utility points ready for the pavilion.
The Field of Dreams project will be used by the children and young people of Foreland Fields School as well as partners from the wider local disability community.
Students and young people attending Foreland Fields School, and those in partner organisations, have a range of learning needs and physical disabilities and benefit from opportunities to learn in a practical and outdoor context. The facility will be a safe environment for them to develop a wide range of skills through activities such as football, cricket, athletics, cycling, forest school, music, drama and art projects, outdoor education and gardening.
A Foreland Fields spokesperson said: “Due to learning and physical needs, our students often struggle to or are unable to access local clubs outside of school hours. Currently, within Thanet, there are no disability friendly sport and leisure hubs offering the set of facilities this project will create, which means there are young people who feel excluded from being active or belonging to a team because the right options and opportunities are not available.
“This pavilion will provide a secure and accessible hub solely for their use. It will offer a wide range of sports, leisure, learning and art opportunities delivered by experts in SEN. Activities will be offered in the evening, weekends and during the school holidays. Outcomes will include improved physical health and mental wellbeing, enhanced communication and social skills, and the development of social integration through more opportunities to develop friendships and peer networks.”
Fundraising is now well under way for completion of phase 2 – the build of a low level, fully inclusive pavilion. This will house changing places facilities with hoists, accessible toilets, showers, changing rooms, an education and training space, and a kitchen. The build costs for the pavilion are £450,000.
Parents, and staff, from the school have already got behind the project and were busy over the summer months completing various challenges to raise funds, and with a summer raffle held at the school too, just over £3,000 was raised to kick-start the appeal.
Fundraising to achieve the full cost of phase 2 will consist of a mixture of grant applications to Trusts and Foundations, community fundraising events, corporate sponsorship, and charitable donations.
To help raise some of the money needed, a crowdfunding page has been set up to cover the costs of the changing room within the pavilion. The total cost of fixtures and fittings for the room amount to £24,706.
The crowdfunding campaign is live and will be running from November 5 until February 11. Any money pledged will be held in a holding account and will be repaid if the campaign does not reach its total by the deadline.