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Volunteers take on Calthorpe Academy DIY challenge

VOLUNTEERS from Rugbytots, Kenilworth RFC and Fusion Community Initiatives delivered a life-enhancing build project for Birmingham-based Calthorpe Academy, an incredible special school for children with complex learning needs, and with a learning culture committed to developing the ‘skills for the life that the pupils want’.

Calthorpe Academy - Fusion project

Students from Calthorpe Academy with James O’Malley, Fusion Community Initiatives, take a look at the work in progress.

Teams from leading rugby play organisation Rugbytots, Kenilworth RFC (1st XV and Ladies teams) and Wooden Spoon staff came together on 26th January and joined mentors from Fusion Initiatives, to create an amazing outdoor recreation space for the children at Calthorpe Academy in Highgate, Birmingham.

The project provides the platform for a dynamic and different team-building exercise for the volunteers, facilitated by ex-military coaches and mentors from Fusion Community Initiatives. The plans for the outdoor space were challenging; including benches with raised planters for a kitchen garden, sensory tunnels and an outside ‘classroom’ space. As well as delivering a wonderful new facility for school pupils, the day’s activity was also an opportunity for volunteers to step out of their comfort zone. Many of the volunteers took on new challenges and learnt new skills while working alongside people they had not met before.

Kenilworth RFC’s Jai Purewal commented: “Our rugby club has a long tradition of charity/community support, not just in Kenilworth but also further afield, and is a Wooden Spoon Partner Rugby Club. As well as providing volunteers the club also raises thousands of pounds each season for a variety of charities and is a Wooden Spoon Partner Rugby Club. We are very grateful to our members, sponsors and supporters for all of their support. Today has been challenging but very rewarding and we head home knowing we have left a lasting legacy from our efforts for the benefit of pupils now and in the future.”

The event was also attended by former Leicester Tigers and England legend, Tim Stimpson, who added: “Today has been great for me because I am an ambassador for Wooden Spoon and a while back I helped bring Kenilworth RFC on as a partner club.”

For each person involved – the teams from Rugbytots, Kenilworth RFC and Wooden Spoon, Fusion facilitators, and the staff and children at Calthorpe Academy, this will undoubtedly leave a lasting imprint.

To get involved with a project like this contact Ian Lindsay on ilindsay@woodenspoon.org.uk