Cash gives a lift to Angmering students

Students, staff, a parent and representative of the rotary club celebrate the official opening of the lift
Students, staff, a parent and representative of the rotary club celebrate the official opening of the lift

An uplifting donation of £6,000 has raised the spirits of disabled students at The Angmering School.

Youngsters from Angmering’s Lavinia Norfolk Centre are celebrating the cash windfall provided by the Littlehampton Rotary Club to adapt the school’s existing two lifts.

Thanks to the Rotary donation, the lifts – located in the Lavinia Norfolk Centre and the sixth form centre – are now fully equipped to accommodate every youngster, no matter what disability they may have.

Mark Andrews, special educational needs coordinator, said the lifts allowed students to get to parts of the school which would be inaccessible to them otherwise. “Despite careful planning going into the initial design of the lifts, some students were unable to reach the mechanism for operating them, and therefore were unable to access them independently. Thanks to a grant from Littlehampton Rotary Club of £6,000, the lift operating mechanisms were adapted and now all students are able to operate the lifts,” he said.

Jack Simmonds, 17, is one of the those to have benefited from the adaptations.

Jack is a sixth-form student. He faces a constant struggle to deal with a debilitating form of muscular dystrophy.

“It’s really good to have the new control on the lift. I like being able to work it myself.”

Jack’s mum, Anne, said the lifts were vital to her son’s school life. “When Jack joined the sixth form he was reluctant to go over to his tutor group in the sixth form block because he couldn’t reach the lift button,” she said.

“He was having someone to go over to operate it for him. This was getting him down and he wasn’t enjoying sixth form because of the situation with the lift.

“Now the changes have been made, thanks to the Rotary Club, and an accessible button has been added to the lift, life is much easier for Jack and all the other students who were unable to access the lift.”

She added: “Jack now has much more confidence and independence, which is great.”

Rotary president Geoff Watts said: “The facility we have provided is excellent and we are only too pleased to have been able to help.”