Victoria Education Centre – Livability’s school for disabled young people in Poole – has completed a refurbishment of its fitness facilities with specially adapted equipment for the needs of its students.
Members of The Steve Bernard Foundation generously contributed to the project, organised by Director Tom Bernard. The upgrade included state of the art gym equipment and a redesign of the fitness suite layout, costing in excess of £20,000.
The money was raised largely through a sponsored cycle ride starting from Rome in Italy, touching on the French Alps and returning to Poole.
Victoria Education Centre offers specialised, high quality care and therapy for young disabled people from 3-19 years old. All students have physical disabilities or complex medical conditions and many have additional needs including communication difficulties, learning difficulties and sensory impairments.
Simon Brown, Head Teacher at Victoria Education Centre, said:
“We are delighted with the results as it is a significant improvement on the old gym. This fantastic facility will enable students of all disabilities to access the gym and gain benefit from using it. Our students are very excited and we are extremely grateful to everyone involved and the obvious hard work that took place to make this possible.”
The ‘Steve Bernard Foundation’ was set up in February 2006, in memory of the affectionately named Stevie B, following his tragic passing in a car accident in November 2005. Since the foundation was formed it has gone on to raise more than £280,000 for sporting projects based across Bournemouth, Dorset and the South Coast. To date, the foundation has supported more than 200 projects covering more than 30 sports and 4 continents.
Attending the official opening of the new facility alongside members of the ‘Steve Bernard Foundation’ was the newly appointed Lady Mayoress of Poole, Xena Dion:
“This is the first time I have visited the school, said the Mayoress and I had the privilege of meeting some of the wonderful children during my time here. There are constant challenges these children deal with on a day to day basis and yet I was greeted with smiles, enthusiasm and positivity.”
In 2013 the school opened a new state of the art aqua therapy pool providing a full range of sensory equipment, lighting and film projections to stimulate children with profound needs.
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