The Tyneside-based Foundation plays a crucial role in improving the lives of people with physical disabilities and the £1million donation – the biggest in the charity’s 63-year history – will support the development of vital new facilities at Hedleys Percy Hedley School in Killingworth, North Tyneside.
The donation comes from The St. James’s Place Foundation and will help the charity to consolidate Percy Hedley School, which is currently split over two sites, onto one site with a purpose-built junior school constructed next to the upper school.
This will allow the Foundation to transform its learning environment for youngsters and grow from an average capacity of 160 to 200 children with building work expected to be completed in the autumn.
The £3.6million development marks the start of the charity’s Building Brighter Futures Appeal, which also includes plans to redevelop one of the Foundation’s current residential units, Hedleys Leybourne, into an 8-bed residential home for young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities.
Plans for the new junior school and residential unit follow the recent completion of a new state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool, 26-bed children’s home and short-break and respite facility in March.
The £1million donation provides a huge boost to the charity’s plans, but it is now appealing for support to raise the £2.6million needed to complete the developments.
Carole Harder, Chief Executive of The Percy Hedley Foundation, said: “As a direct result of this fantastic donation, one of the largest of its kind in the North East, we will be able to provide more support to many disabled people and their families.
“This tremendous support from the St. James’s Place Foundation provides a huge boost to our appeal and will also help us provide facilities to help pre-school disabled children and their parents to ensure they get the best start in life.”
Mark Longbottom, Head of the St. James’s Place Foundation, said: “We are delighted to have formed a partnership with The Percy Hedley Foundation.
“They have a fantastic team who work hard at educating, supporting and caring for children and young people whose lives are challenged by disability.”
The St. James’s Place Foundation is a grant-making charity with a difference. The vast majority of funds raised come from fundraising or generous donations made by Partners and employees of St. James’s Place each year. These funds are then matched pound for pound by the company.
Over the last 25 years the St. James’s Place community has raised and distributed in excess of £46 million to good causes.
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