Every year, the team in Sherbornes try to support the local community and charities through various events and projects and this year was no exemption.
After a number of successful fundraising events earlier in the year, for our final activity we decided to join forces with PinPoint Media and Gloucester Rugby to raise awareness about Bettridge School, a community special school based in Cheltenham. Darren Sherborne, director at Sherbornes, said “We have a long-standing relationship with the Club, we have been sponsors for some time and we are their solicitor. We knew we could count on them for their support.”
Bettridge school provides an individualised, creative and exciting learning pathway for 145 pupils between the ages of 2 and 19 within a safe and supportive environment. All pupils have a statement of specials educational needs, an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or are being assessed for an EHCP. Most pupils have severe or profound learning difficulties.
The staff at Bettridge School are skilled in working with children with severe and complex learning difficulties. Children are taught in small classes with high adult: pupil ratios. All classes have several support staff who work with the teacher to meet the needs of the pupils and a Total Communication approach is used across the school. This includes using signing, photos, symbols and objects to support communication.
The entire team of Sherbornes has in its heart this place, as Darren’s son, Sam, is a pupil there. “He has multiple and profound difficulties and, yet he thrives there.” Darren said. “He loves going to school, and he has, in their care, made giant and unexpected leaps forward in lots of ways. The staff there deserve every little bit of praise aimed in their direction and the school itself deserves to be recognised for what it is, which is a beacon of hope and achievement for families and children who often have too little reason to expect either.”
We gave the project the title of “The ShShSh Project” and trust us when we say, the clue is in the name! One of the things we do as part of our association with the Club is run a video whenever a kick is taken to remind the crowd to be quiet during the kick, simply to respect the kicker. In the past, this has run with a cartoon figure. We were looking for a way forward with it, to freshen it up a little, and on a visit to Bettridge School, and watching the joy and unbridled enthusiasm some of the children there have, it dawned on us that these kids are the perfect figureheads for a campaign to encourage the crowd to respect the players and also, to raise the profile of a quite fantastic school located within the county.
Mandy Roberts, Headteacher in Bettridge, said “We are delighted that some of our pupils have been involved in producing a film that will reach so many people. With the support of their families and the skilled and dedicated staff at Bettridge, each of our young people can achieve so much. Just like their peers in mainstream schools, our pupils love to share their achievements, especially their love of sport.”
Oliver Bruce, director at PinPointMedia said “Whilst working with the team at Sherbornes, we were very happy to hear to support them in their creative, and sometimes mad suggestions! Coinciding this project with being able to help raise the awareness of such a superb local School was a highly rewarding experience for everyone involved! I know the team are really looking forward to viewing the completed films on the big screen at GRFC.”
The footage went live on the game against Zebre on the 16th December 2017 and will be played for the rest of the season. We really hope the fans get behind it.