Haywards Heath school gets into the festive spirit

Noah, 10, from Lindfield
Noah, 10, from Lindfield

A school in Haywards Heath has put on a number of Christmas celebrations, attracting a visit from the mayor.

Chailey Heritage School, in Haywards Heath Road, has had four different celebrations across the school over the last two weeks, including a nativity play, carol service and panto.

Mayor, Sujan Wickremaratchi joined in with the children

Mayor, Sujan Wickremaratchi joined in with the children

Mayor, Sujan Wickremaratchi joined in with the festivities alongside Mary, Joseph, shepherds and angels.

The special school is owned and operated by the Chailey Heritage Foundation and is for children and young adults, aged between three and 19.

Children at the school have complex physical disabilities, including visual and hearing impairments, and associated learning difficulties.

Some pupils have a profound learning disability in addition to other disabilities (PMLD).

Chief executive of Chailey Heritage Foundation, Helen Hewitt, said:: “Watching the children’s Christmas celebrations has been fantastic and it’s been amazing to be able to share their plays, concerts and services with their families and friends.

The school’s perfect Christmas present would be ‘The D.R.E.A.M Centre’ – a new purpose-built hall, so that all the children, young adults and their families can come together in one place for celebrations and performances.

At present, the school can only perform to a small audience in the old hall, where the young people in wheelchairs can only access the stage via an outdoor side entrance with ramps.

The D.R.E.A.M (Dynamic, Real, Experiential, Amazing, Magical) Centre would be a modern, purpose-built space, large enough for children and young people with complex disabilities to participate in a mixture of arts, drama and physical activities.

The Chailey Heritage Foundation aims to raise £2.6 million to fund the project.

“What would be even more fantastic is for pupils to be able to stage a performance with proper lighting and sound and where all their families and school friends could come together and watch. The new D.R.E.A.M. Centre will do this and more,” said Helen.

The Chailey Heritage Foundation is a Sussex based charity that educates and cares for children and young people with complex disabilities and high health needs.

To donate to The D.R.E.A.M. Centre Appeal, or give DREAMTime, please visit www.chf.org.uk/dreamcentre or contact Sally-Anne Murray, development director on 01825 724752.

Have you checked out our new Christmas section yet?

It’s packed with ideas and tips to ensure you make the most out of the festive season.

There’s recipes, suggestions for presents and everything from choosing your tree to recycling your packaging and paper.

Go to www.midsussextimes.co.uk/christmas/