ON Thursday 30 March, intu Lakeside revealed local charity, Treetops School, as its charity partnership for 2017. The announcement was made at intu Lakeside during an event to mark the start of intu Lakeside adapting its services to become more autism friendly. Treetops School is a day special school in Grays, for children and young adults who experience moderate learning difficulties. The school also operates a specialist provision for pupils on the autistic spectrum.
As part of this charity partnership, intu Lakeside has committed to building a new sensory room at the Thurrock based specialist school. The new room will be built by intu Lakeside’s staff members using their expertise and dedicated community volunteering hours as well as support being provided by the contractors who will be working on intu Lakeside’s leisure development. Every staff member at the centre is given 15 hours for volunteering every year and are given the freedom to use these hours as they please to support charity and community projects, however several staff members have already committed their time to helping this pledge.
Hana Gunfield, Community Development Manager at intu Lakeside, commented: “We are delighted to announce Treetops School as our charity partner for 2017 and look forward to changing the lives of students with the addition of a new sensory room. Over the course of the year our staff will be working hard to make this possible and we look forward to unveiling the end results.”
Cllr Cathy Kent, Mayor of Thurrock said: “I am thrilled intu Lakeside has chosen Treetops School as its charity of the year. We are very proud of Treetops and its ‘outstanding in all categories’ Ofsted status. The school has high expectations for each child and uses practical activities to make learning interesting. I am so pleased that intu Lakeside is using the experience and expertise of the staff and students at Treetops and the National Autistic Society Thurrock, to ensure that the centre is welcoming and accessible for those with autism or other learning difficulties.”