Rugby hero launches sensory room at school in Caister

Former England rugby player Phil Vickery at the opening of a new and improved sensory room at the Jo

Former England rugby player Phil Vickery at the opening of a new and improved sensory room at the John Grant School in Caister. The area was funded by the Wooden Spoon charity. Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

A English sporting hero was on hand to officially launch a room at a specialist school in Caister.

Former England rugby player Phil Vickery at the opening of a new and improved sensory room at the Jo

Former England rugby player Phil Vickery at the opening of a new and improved sensory room at the John Grant School in Caister.Pupils enjoying the peace and calm atmosphere of the room.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass

Phil Vickery, part of England's 2003 Rugby World Cup winning team, pledged his support to the £34,000 sensory room at John Grant School.

Funded by the Wooden Spoon charity, the facilities are aimed to provide a calm and relaxing place for students facing a wide range of challenges including autism and severe learning difficulties.

The rugby charity supports children with physical and mental disadvantages and was keen to invest in the complex needs school and specialist college.

Mr Vickery, who is an ambassador for Wooden Spoon, was shown the room and spoke to children who will benefit from the facilities.

Former England rugby player Phil Vickery at the opening of a new and improved sensory room at the Jo

Former England rugby player Phil Vickery at the opening of a new and improved sensory room at the John Grant School in Caister.The area was funded by the Wooden Spoon charity.Picture: James Bass - Credit: James Bass


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He said: 'When you think of all the hard work put in by the school, the volunteers and how much it will help these children - that's why I wanted to get involved.

'Just being here and joining in and speaking to these children shows why we sacrifice our time to make a difference to these kids.

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'By helping this school, we're making the children and their families' lives better.'

The school discovered the Wooden Spoon charity online last summer, and wrote to them to ask for their help.

The charity quickly responded, and the sensory room was officially launched on Tuesday. Children in the school have already started using and enjoying the facilities.

Jill Waters, who is the assistant headteacher at the school said: 'We first launched a sensory room around ten years ago but technology moves so quickly and everything was breaking down so we really need to get funding for a new room.

'The facilities are great; there is an OMI floor projector which the children can interact with by playing games and also for educational purposes.

'We also have a DVD player with a soundbox where the children can really feel the sound and there are also seating areas for the children to relax in.

'The Sensory Room will provide a calming and relaxing place and will have a positive effect on pupil behaviour, providing children with calming techniques which they can use in other situations.'

John Grant is a complex needs school and specialist sports college, which is part of the Norfolk Trust SEN.

It has 134 pupils aged between four and 19, catering for students with a wide range of challenges including autism and severe learning difficulties.

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