£1m donation to help school

The �1million donation from St James's Place to The Percy Hedly Foundation takes place with ( back row) Nick Swales from Percy Hedley, Phil Pringle, Mark Beverley and Malcolm Cooper-Smith all from St James's Place, Danny Mitchell and Carole Harder both from Percy Hedley and pupils from the school at Killingworth.
Picture by Jane Coltman

The �1million donation from St James's Place to The Percy Hedly Foundation takes place with ( back row) Nick Swales from Percy Hedley, Phil Pringle, Mark Beverley and Malcolm Cooper-Smith all from St James's Place, Danny Mitchell and Carole Harder both from Percy Hedley and pupils from the school at Killingworth. Picture by Jane Coltman

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A charity supporting disabled children and young people is celebrating a major kick start to their latest appeal.

The Percy Hedley Foundation has been awarded £1million – the biggest in its 63-year history – from The St James’s Palace Foundation.

The money will help plans at Percy Hedley School, in Killingworth, by bringing the two sites onto one with a purpose-built junior school constructed next to the upper school – increasing its capacity from 160 to 200 children.

The £3.6m development marks the start of the charity’s Building Brighter Futures Appeal, which also includes plans to redevelop one of the residential units, Hedleys Leybourne, into an eight-bed residential home for young people with profound and multiple learning disabilities.

Plans for the new junior school and residential unit follow the recent completion of a new state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool, 26-bed children’s home and short-break and respite facility in March.

The charity is now appealing for support to raise the £2.6m needed to complete the developments.

Carole Harder, chief executive of The Percy Hedley Foundation, said: “As a direct result of this fantastic donation, we will be able to provide more support to many disabled people and their families.

“This tremendous support from the St James’s Place Foundation provides a huge boost to our appeal and will also help us provide facilities to help pre-school disabled children ensure they get the best start in life.”

Mark Longbottom, head of the St James’s Place Foundation, said: “We are delighted to have formed a partnership with The Percy Hedley Foundation.”

“They have a fantastic team who work hard at educating, supporting and caring for children and young people whose lives are challenged by disability.”

For more on the St James’s Palace Foundation visit www1.sjp.co.uk