Redwood Park, a special needs school in Portsmouth, is officially opening its swimming pool’s new changing room facilities on Friday, 12th December with the help of Checkatrade ambassador, Craig Phillips. Checkatrade has been supporting the build from the beginning, helping to improve and rebuild the outdated changing rooms that had no heating, toilets or showers and no disabled facilities.
The Checkatrade team have spent over a year raising funds to support the school by replacing inadequate sports changing facilities with a modern up to date building. Sport, and especially swimming, can be an important therapy for children with special needs so the Checkatrade team have taken part in a range of fundraising activities to raise money for this important build including quiz nights, cake sales, a staff Sports Day, Ice Bucket Challenges, Jailbreak Day and London Nightrider, not forgetting Checkatrade’s founder, Kevin Byrne’s, fantastic 12 marathons in 12 months!
The opening event is the culmination of all the hard work put in by the Checkatrade Foundation’s ‘Big Build’ and all the volunteers that turned out to help the school which included Checkatrade staff and members, as well as staff and pupils of Redwood school who supported Kevin on his incredible 12 marathons. “It was all worth it especially now work has completed and we can see how much of a difference these new facilities are going to make to the pupils and wider community. I’m proud that Checkatrade could support such a fantastic local project and all the staff has been brilliant with their own fundraising efforts too. I would also like to say a huge thank you to all the Checkatrade members who volunteered hours and hours of their time to making this happen!” Kevin said.
Craig Phillips will be on hand to cut the tape, officially opening the new facilities. Craig has been getting stuck in with the development helping with the build itself. He said: “I’m thrilled to have been part of such an amazing project. I know that this new building will be so beneficial for years to come, and everyone should be proud of what they have done to make this happen.”
Head teacher, Lynda Butt said: “We have been overwhelmed by the amazing generosity of everyone who has worked on or donated supplies for the ‘Big Build’. The new warm, dry, bright changing rooms with shower facilities will make swimming so much more enjoyable for our learners and other groups within the community.
“They have been watching the progress of the Checkatrade workforce with great interest and are very excited at the prospect of using the new facilities for the first time. Kevin Byrne and all those involved in the project understand how important it is for our learners with disabilities to learn to swim. We would like to give our personal thanks to everyone who has shown true dedication and commitment in ensuring the ‘Big Build’ project has been such a huge success.”