By Henry Chard

We were delighted to host some visitors from the Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy at our last fixture at Foxhall.

Managing Director of our title sponsor Guy Nicholls and the Tru7 Group are extremely proud to be supporting the Academy based in Ipswich and back in December 2019 pledged to donate £100,000 via the GeeWizz Charity organisation, who are fundraising for a new SENDs playground at the school.

The school is for children aged 3-16 with physical, medical and /or sensory needs and associated learning difficulties. EYFS and Primary Lead at the school Amanda Jebb explained how much the donation will mean to the children. 

“Everyone here at Thomas Wolsey is incredibly grateful for Guy’s very generous donation which is being used towards the playground project at Thomas Wolsey,” said Jebb. “The playground needed a lot of updating to enable greater access for all and to facilitate greater learning and play opportunities for our very special pupils.  

“A huge amount of thought has gone into the planning of every aspect of the playground for example how to make it accessible and enjoyable for children with visual and hearing impairments, how opportunities for physiotherapy can be incorporated into the design and how children can take a different journey and adventure in the playground each time they come outside.  

“The plans for the playground mean that pupils will be able to access areas such as an allotment, a beach and a forest area, these areas can be difficult for pupils and families to access in the community due to physical needs. The canopies which are being installed also mean that the pupils can be outside in all weathers, and we are looking forward to having a quieter sensory area with water features and mirrors where pupils can relax and reflect in.”

“Our hopes and dreams for the playground wouldn’t have been possible without the very kind support from Guy and other local businesses.”

Jebb also gave an update on how progress is going on the project.

“The team working on the playground have worked incredibly hard. New paths have been created, existing canopies have been removed to make way for bigger and better canopies, and our very overgrown allotment has now been cleared and has had a paved flooring laid and existing wooden surfaces have had a fresh coat of paint. A boat has even sailed from its home in one playground and secured in place in our beach area in the main playground!

“It has been great watching the beginning of the transformation over the summer and we look forward to sharing this with the pupils when they return in September.”

Jebb finished by saying how much everyone enjoyed their trip to Foxhall to watch the Witches in action with many attending the next fixture on home shale against Peterborough.

“We all had a fantastic time visiting Foxhall Stadium to watch the Speedway. Sometimes it can be difficult to find something suitable for the whole family to do together. The facilities at Foxhall meant pupils and their family could share a new experience together and with friends.  

“The pupils loved meeting some of the riders, listening to and looking at the bikes in the pits, going onto the track and talking with the staff. Once the races and the music started the children really came to life- they were cheering, smiling, tracking the different movements of the bikes around the track, and talking about what they were seeing.

“The atmosphere of the stadium was a completely new and enjoyable experience for all. The families were grateful for the opportunity, and many have said it is somewhere they will return to in the very near future.”  

Ipswich promoter Chris Louis extended a warm welcome for teachers, pupils and parents to visit Foxhall at any time in the future.

“It’s an honour to be able to help the Thomas Wolsey School by offering another venue for the pupils and families to be able to visit,” said Louis. “Our association has come through our sponsors the Tru7 group and the fabulous support that Guy and the team are giving them at the moment. 

“I am so pleased that Speedway offers them a night out in the fresh air with so many different things to engage with, the noise, the smell, speed and action.  We look forward to welcoming them as often as they can visit.”