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New therapy centre opens at Skipton school

A pupil tests out the Rebound Therapy Centre watched by representatives of Brooklands School, GMI Construction Group and its supply chain partners

A new therapy centre for children with special educational needs has been formally handed over to Brooklands School - after being completed free of charge through the Great Yorkshire Build initiative.

Companies from GMI Construction Group’s supply chain teamed up to donate £200,000 worth of their time, skill, equipment and cost of building materials.

The Rebound Therapy Building at Brooklands School in Skipton features a trampoline that will provide its more than 80 pupils with valuable therapeutic exercise promoting strength and co-ordination as well as developing communication skills and alleviating anxiety.

GMI Construction Group, together with McLaren Developments, all provided their services free of charge as part of Yorkshire Children’s Charity’s Great Yorkshire Build initiative.

An existing garage had to be demolished by GMI and its supply chain partners and the foundations laid before work was completed on the building’s envelope, roof and internal fit out, including a trampoline and pit. Finishing touches to the exterior were applied and the car park reinstated,

All this was made possible by the dedication and skills of sub-contractors Hookstone, Stephensons, Cara Brickwork, Cog Scaffolding, EDSL Joinery, FCB Roofing, Gallant M&E, FAA Installations, ES Décor, Ascot Doors, Elite Aluminium, Active Flooring, and OGL.

GMI was the first construction company to volunteer for the charity’s Great Yorkshire Build, which is designed to improve outdated, insufficient and inadequate facilities at many of the region’s Specialist Inclusive Learning Centres (SILC) and SEND schools.

Brooklands School provides a creative, personalised and high quality education to 82 pupils, aged 4 to 19, who have a range of complex needs.

Fran Cracknell, Headteacher at Brooklands School, said: “I’ve wanted to have a facility that would allow us to offer rebound therapy to our pupils for many years, but it was never achievable, until now.

“In particular I’d like to say a huge thank you to GMI, as they were the first onboard this fantastic initiative by Yorkshire Children’s Charity. There are not enough words to thank them for making a massive difference to some incredibly special pupils, their parents and our staff.

“GMI, along with their sub-contractors, have become part of the family and the wider Brooklands community during the work and this wonderful centre simply wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t stepped up.”

Lee Powell, CEO of Leeds-based GMI Construction Group, Yorkshire, added: “The importance of this project was quickly apparent on my very first visit to Brooklands, speaking to the Head and meeting some of the pupils.

“All those involved in this collaboration between GMI, and its supply chain partners have developed a special affinity with the school, and we are all extremely proud to hand the building over. This is a project that will make a difference to so many lives in the coming years and something that has been a privilege to work on.”

Charlotte Farrington, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Children’s Charity, said: “Brooklands School is the first project to be achieved by our Great Yorkshire Build initiative and the results are amazing. It now means Brooklands can provide the therapeutic and recreational exercise their children desperately need, and which will improve their lives immeasurable. Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to all those who made this possible.”

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