FOR many years now The Hedgehogs, who this year are celebrating 55 years of helping people in need, have included the students at The Abbey School in Farnham among the many groups and individuals they support from the proceeds of their widely varied activities.

The Abbey is a special school with places for just over 100 children all of whom have learning difficulties, social and/or communication disorders, some have physical, hearing and visual impairments as well.

The Abbey provides a happy, safe and stimulating learning environment for children for whom mainstream schools are not appropriate, the school has been judged by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’ in its last two inspections.

The core classroom-based curriculum at the school is enriched with a wide range of learning, vocational and life-skills development opportunities in the wider community.

The most recent donation to the school from The Hedgehogs, a cheque for £1,500, will be put towards the cost of running the school vehicles. Without the on-going support of organisations such as the Hedgehogs, the school would not be able to keep the school minibuses and cars on the road which would mean it would not be possible to offer such a wide range of off-site activities.

As headteacher Nathan Aspinall explained: “Last week alone there were over 40 off-site journeys including taking students to work experience, alternative learning provision at Normandy Therapy Garden, riding with the RDA, 40 Degreez after school youth club, Duke of Edinburgh award volunteering activities, badminton, cycling, tennis, media studies, community studies, Alton College link provision, Young Enterprise, swimming and running.

“And an outing for the after-school creative arts club to take photos on location. We simply could not offer all this to our students without the support of partners like The Hedgehogs. On behalf of the students and governors, I would like to say a huge thank you to The Hedgehogs and everyone in the local community who supports their fund-raising.”