Pupils help add a touch of colour to play area

A group of students have helped transform an outdoor play area for their disabled peers.

Six students, who are studying an extended diploma in art and design at Newcastle College, helped transform the space at Percy Hedley School into a jungle, forest and seaside.

I’m very happy with the way the project turned out

Melissa McNab

They worked with pupils at the school in Forest Hall to create three large murals that the children could interact with during play time.

Kristin Kennedy Brown, Sarah Daniels, Zoe Donaldson, Melissa McNab, Emily Robinson and Hannah Roe developed designs over a six month period by running workshops with pupils and responding to their ideas and interests.

Melissa, 18, from North Shields, helped to get the project underway by securing funding from O2 Think Big.

She said: “I’m very happy with the way the project turned out. I’d like to thank O2 Think Big for the funding.”

“And I’d like to say a big well done to all the kids who helped us throughout the project and who helped us complete the murals.”

Lynn Watson, director of education for the Percy Hedley Foundation, said: “The children, who all have complex and severe Special Educational Needs, have gained so much from being part of this project.

“The very talented students from Newcastle College invested their time in making the outdoor area look fabulous and the children love the effect of the bright, vibrant artwork, which now takes pride of place in our lower school.”

Paula Adams, lecturer in art and design at the college, said: “It has been a privilege for the students to work with Percy Hedley School and this project has given students a unique opportunity to work with the community on a public art project whilst developing their professional profile as the next generation of artists and designers.”