Georgia’s big support for major pool project

Georgia the fund-raising giraffe with Morpeth Lions members David Armstrong, Joy Offord and Chris Offord, right, at Whitehouse Farm Centre.
Georgia the fund-raising giraffe with Morpeth Lions members David Armstrong, Joy Offord and Chris Offord, right, at Whitehouse Farm Centre.

A community group is using an eye-catching method to raise funds for a school’s hydrotherapy pool project.

Cleaswell Hill School in Guide Post, which has 172 children aged between two and 19, is looking to build the facility to support children with various disabilities and special needs.

From left, Morpeth Lions members Chris Offord, Margaret Trewick, Les Brindley and Les Sage, Cleaswell Hill School teacher Lauren Caisley and headteacher Kevin Burdis and Morpeth Lion Lilian Nelson are pictured with Georgia the fund-raising giraffe.

From left, Morpeth Lions members Chris Offord, Margaret Trewick, Les Brindley and Les Sage, Cleaswell Hill School teacher Lauren Caisley and headteacher Kevin Burdis and Morpeth Lion Lilian Nelson are pictured with Georgia the fund-raising giraffe.

The scheme will cost in the region of £500,000 and a fund-raising appeal was launched last year. Money is being brought in through various means, including the use of a converted model giraffe.

For many years, the school has participated in Morpeth Lions Club’s Dickens of a Draw initiative. So when teacher Lauren Caisley and a colleague mentioned the project, it was of particular interest to the club’s vice-president, Margaret Trewick.

Margaret is the district’s physical and learning difficulties officer and she was among the members who went along to the school after a decision was made to support the scheme.

Fund-raising coordinator Lauren explained that a hydrotherapy pool uses physical water properties such as temperature and pressure to allow essential physiotherapy to be carried out in a relaxed and safe environment.

It also includes light and sound systems to provide a rich sensory, and often interactive, experience.

During their visit, the Lions members introduced pupils and staff to Georgia the giraffe. Georgia started life as a 5ft Decopatch model used by Steve and Fiona Greenway of Lateral Arts, Packhorse Buildings, Newgate Street.

They invited children to come up with its name.

Rather than dispense with the model, they invited Lion Les Sage to make use of it for fund-raising purposes. He and Margaret got their heads together and decided that Georgia would make an ideal collecting box once appropriate slots were installed.

Georgia has been out and about recently to encourage donations, including at Whitehouse Farm Centre and the Morpeth Civic Awards.

At Whitehouse Farm Centre, Georgia was next to the meerkats – who were certainly intrigued by their brightly coloured neighbour.

To make a donation online, visit www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/cleaswellhill-school/hydro-pool