Providing the missing piece

THE enduring support of Wooden Spoon is continuing to have a profound positive impact on the lives of pupils at a Surrey school for children with autistic spectrum disorders. As a long-term beneficiary of the children’s charity of rugby’s Surrey committee, Cranleigh’s Jigsaw School has been able to provide its youngsters with fantastic facilities, including the 2008 additions of sensory and soft play rooms made possible thanks to a £24,200 donation.

And in 2014, the establishment – itself a registered charity – received further support in the shape of a £10,000 gift to create the Wooden Spoon Early Years Play Area.

The exciting outdoor development was equipped with low-level, fixed equipment including a “splish splash” trough with water wheel, flower table, sandpit and a run of clear water tubes. The entire area was surrounded with security panelled fencing to ensure the safety of its young users.

Jigsaw School

Although the facility, which was opened by Wooden Spoon Surrey honorary chairman John Inverdale, was designed to be used by four-to-seven-year-olds, PR & Fundraising Officer Steven Morgan said that more pupils than originally anticipated had been able to benefit from it.

He explained that the site has also aided the development of youngsters’ communication skills as those playing with the equipment can often be encouraged to pour water through a combination of eye contact, gestures and vocalisations from staff.

Steven added: “Pupils love watching the water run down the water run and one pupil in particular likes jumping into the sandpit!

“Long-term objectives can be set for pupils, for example, building sandcastles, digging, interacting with water, pouring from different heights and imitation skills.

“Also, our pupils are no different from other children in that they simply love having fun and this fantastic facility is providing exactly that – thank you, Wooden Spoon!”

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