Funding plea for special trip by pupils

Karen Fishburn, with pupils and staff from the Hearing Impaired Unit at Sandhill View School.

Karen Fishburn, with pupils and staff from the Hearing Impaired Unit at Sandhill View School.

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DETERMINED teachers are aiming to raise £3,000 to take deaf children on a residential trip.

Sandhill View School, which has a specialised unit for deaf and hearing-impaired pupils throughout Sunderland, is hoping to take a group of pupils to Center Parcs to help them interact and learn new skills.

Gemma Neal, communication support worker for the deaf at the Grindon Lane school, said they aim to repeat the trip they made last year, which was very beneficial to the children.

She said: “It was amazing for them. They tried a whole range of activities they would not otherwise have done and every child who went on the trip came back a different person, much more confident.

“It was so successful, we want to do the trip again this year, but with the economic situation the way it is, we just don’t have the money to fund it.”

Gemma is hoping Wearside residents and businesses will help support the trip by making donations and through sponsorship.

Last year 18 children went on the trip, eight from Sandhill View and the others from the city’s two primary schools which have specialised provision for children with sensory impairments, Thorney Close and George Washington.

Gemma said: “The children could be totally relaxed and loved taking part in the activities. It was great for them. They felt like a team because they were among others who were all deaf.

“The older children loved helping out the younger ones and they took part in lots of things such as swimming, paintballing, bike riding and roller blading.”

Josh Magnish, 13, one of the youngsters who took part in the trip last year, said: “Center Parcs was very educational and also fun. My confidence was built up with the new skills I learned. When I was there I learned to work as part of a team not just with friends, but with other members of the group.”

Anyone who would like to make a donation towards the trip, which will be held in either June or September depending on funding, can contact Gemma on 553 6060.