If you go down in the woods today

by | 18 September 2017 | Community Focus, Rotary, Rotherham

A brilliant partnership between Rotherham Sitwell Rotary Club, Fortem and Eurovia means pupils at Newman school can appreciate the world outside.

Newman School is a community school which offers a specialist range of provisions to support children and young people with physical disabilities, medical needs and complex learning needs. Sitwell Rotary Club is well known in the area for raising funds for local charities and for getting involved in local projects. They have been helping Newman School for some years — organising school based events and away-day trips.

Sitwell Rotary joined forces with Ray Matthews, who has recently been awarded the British Citizen Award for all his dedicated voluntary work in the town. Ray had a dream to run 75 marathons in 75 days at the age of 75 to raise £75,000 for Newman School, Ray wanted to provide an Adventure Woodland Path and other equipment and activities for the children at Newman School. Ray managed to raise £35,000 and Sitwell Rotary wanted to help Ray achieve his dream and offered to provide the Adventure Woodland Path for him, leaving Ray’s £35,000 free to be spent on climbing frames, wheelchair friendly roundabouts and swings.

Sitwell Rotary looked to two building companies who have bases locally to help achieve the dream of this project. Eurovia and Fortem came into the project with the same enthusiasm as Ray and Sitwell Rotary, and couldn’t wait to get involved.

Eurovia Contracting, based in Wath Upon Dearne, specialises in delivering schemes ranging from urban public realm improvements to highways construction and structures maintenance.

Fortem is a property solutions company, and a sister company to Wilmott Dixon, the largest family owned contractor in the UK. Fortem will be providing labour and materials. Their Management Trainees are getting stuck into the project as part of their annual Management Trainee Challenge.

One of the Trainee Managers, Adam Dickinson, who is volunteering on the project, has also set up a crowdfunding page, to carry out some of the minor internal works and to donate any leftover money to the school for other improvements the children would like, just to make sure this project really does have the ‘Wow Factor’ for them. The crowdfunding address is www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/newmanschool?utm_id=2&utm_term=RMJNAdmke should anyone want to donate to this fantastic project.

Rotherham Council have provided their support for the project by carrying out the initial survey and approval of the plans; the school staff and pupils are really excited and look forward to enjoying the results.

The path is worth £40,000 itself and along with Ray’s £35,000 the whole project is worth £75,000 to Newman School. Money is still being raised through Ray’s website www.rwrr.co.uk again if anyone would like to make a donation to the project. The work took place during the summer holidays and will make a real difference to the lives of the pupils when they return to school in September.