Over the last 7 years, we have established an excellent partnership with a local charity – Polesworth Group Homes (PGH), who provide accommodation and support for adults with learning difficulties. They provide residential care homes, respite, supported living and day activities and services.
Our association began when we were approached by one of our parents who is the Chief Executive, about the possibility that we would consider putting them forward to our School Council as a possible ‘chosen charity’ of the year. PGH were chosen by our council in 2015/16. That year, our children and families raised nearly £2500 to help support the costs of day trips and activities for the residents.
Since then, our relationship has grown and we have organised a number of events between our organisations. These include inviting residents and their carers to all our school events and productions. We have also visited their settings on a number of occasions, watching their theatre performances, taking part in joint activities and our choir singing carols at Christmas. Our Digital Leaders have also planned and taught an online safety lesson to some of the carers and residents about how to stay safe online.
In September, we have arranged for our next partnership project. Darrell Wakelam – our artist in residence, will be based down at PGH for 2 days undertaking a joint art project between children at Birchwood and the residents and carers at PGH. We are hoping to produce a joint piece of artwork where half is kept at BW and the other half at PGH.
I am really pleased that despite the best efforts of Covid, our two organisations have remained close and continue to work together to support each other and our local community. I think that it is really important for our children to learn tolerance of others, valuing differences and respecting others.