School appeals for help to raise final £50,000 for new sports hall

Westhaven School pupils and Head of the PTA Chris Ashworth outside the old school sports hall.

Westhaven School pupils and Head of the PTA Chris Ashworth outside the old school sports hall. - Credit: Archant

Westhaven School is desperately appealing for help to raise the final £50,000 it needs to build a ‘vital’ sports hall for its pupil.

The specialist school in Uphill is hoping to raise £150,000 to pay for a new sports hall and changing room facilities.

Delighted staff and governors hit the £100,000 mark last week and they are now urging people to get in touch to help them raise the final amount.

PE teacher Tommy Barlow said: “We’ve actually crossed the £100,000 mark which is fantastic but Sport England is scrutinising the application at the moment.

“Under the conditions we have to raise £150,000 for 50 per cent match funding so we need to raise the extra £50,000 as soon as possible.

“We are really grateful to all the people who have jumped on board to help us raise a humungous amount of money but we’ve got to a tight point and we’re looking for any organisations in the area who can able to help with the last stage of fundraising.”

The school, in Ellesmere Road, caters for children aged seven to 16 with a range of learning difficulties and physical disabilities.

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Pupils have no dedicated sports hall for PE lessons and staff use one hall for PE, assemblies and lunchtimes. The changing rooms are also not fit for purpose.

The new hall would have two changing rooms, and could also be used by the wider Uphill community.

Mr Barlow added: “The sports hall is absolutely vital. It’s the number one priority for governors and staff.

“When I first came 10 years ago there were 70 children now there are 120. Physical building space has not expanded at all.

“It’s been a long road and at times I thought we weren’t going to make it.

“We are now looking for companies which could donate to the appeal and people who want to do a sponsored event.

“We’d love to nail the final amount by the end of term.”

Donations can be made by cheque directly to the school. They must be made payable to ‘Westhaven School’ and donors must say whether they want their donation to be anonymous and mention the donation is for the sports hall project.

Cheques and offers of building support can be sent to Westhaven School, Ellesmere Road, Uphill, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 4UT.