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Manor move for school

A SCHOOL for autistic youngsters, which was set up by two borough mums, is looking to expand.

A SCHOOL for autistic youngsters, which was set up by two borough mums, is looking to expand.

Lifelong friends Carol Howe and Jacqui Walters-Hutton propose to move into Diddington Hall - an historic Meriden manor house.

The building is much larger than their current premises in Balsall Common and will allow the Island Project school to take more pupils and open a senior unit.

Jacqui said: “We’re waiting for listings approval [Diddington is a Grade 2 listed building] but it really is a perfect site.

“Our current building is great, but we will need a whole new set of facilities to teach older children and teenagers.

“At the moment we’ve got seven pupils and we were worried about where they would go as they got older.”

The Island Project was first set up by Jacqui and Carol in 2007.

Backed by volunteers and the local community, a former Wacky Warehouse - behind the White Horse pub - was transformed into a school.

Although they were proud of the facilities - which received a glowing Ofsted report - the friends knew they needed somewhere bigger. They eventually stumbled on Diddington Hall and found it was just what they were looking for.

“When we went to have a look around, we knew straight away,” explained Jacqui. “It’s a positive step forward and it means we won’t have to turn a child away because we don’t have the space.”

If you can donate any old furniture or help to the Island Project call 01676 530101.

 

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