Children can now bike and bounce at Highbury School

THE BIKE and bounce project at Highbury School in Rastrick, Huddersfield, was opened on 16 November thanks to a donation by Wooden Spoon Yorkshire. Highbury is a special school for primary school pupils with physical and mental disabilities

Eorl Crabtree tries out the wheelchair adapted bicycle.

Eorl Crabtree, of the Huddersfield Giants cut the ribbon. He also showed his mastery of the wheelchair adapted bicycle , took one of the pupils on a five lap tour of the new games area, but wisely declined to test the children’s trampoline with his 120kg frame. At least one Wooden Spoon Yorkshire Committee member was persuaded onto the trampoline – delighted to report that the trampoline, pupils and committee member all escaped unhurt.

The project has unusual beginnings in a conversation in the bar at Huddersfield Golf Club. Long standing Wooden Spoon member Mich Dearman was about to become Captain at the club and was determined that the Captain’s charity for the year would be Wooden Spoon. One of the Golf club members has a daughter at Highbury, and proposed backing the head teacher’s plan for a new games area and floor level trampoline. Mich then proposed to encourage his members by asking Wooden Spoon to pledge a matching £1 for each £1 raised until the £20,000 budget was met.

Debbie Sweet, the Head, had invited Wooden Spoon and Golf Club representatives to a school assembly followed by the opening. The children entertained us with songs and presentations before we all went out to the games area. A derelict piece of land at the school has been brought back into use as a multi use games area, marked out with a mini roadway for cycling. A new garage houses the bikes of all shapes and sizes so that there is something for all of the children, from those using normal bikes to the wheelchair adapted bikes. The outside facilities have been completed with a rain shelter which now houses the Wooden Spoon project plaque.

Back inside the school Eorl Crabtree cut a second ribbon to open the new trampoline facility, built into the floor of the existing sensory room. Teachers and pupils were soon demonstrating how the trampoline can help with communication skills and confidence.

Overall, the project was a great team effort and the pupils were clearly delighted with the results. Mich Dearman also deserves a special mention for devising the innovative matched funding scheme that in effect gave twice the normal impact to both Huddersfield Golf Club and Wooden Spoon.

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