St Albans school opens bus cafe project as community hub for the deaf

PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:39 07 October 2019

The Heathlands School community hub bus was opened by Mayor of St Albans Janet Smith and England Deaf Football captain Jamie Clarke. Picture: Sara Head

The Heathlands School community hub bus was opened by Mayor of St Albans Janet Smith and England Deaf Football captain Jamie Clarke. Picture: Sara Head

Archant

Pupils from a school for the deaf have turned a bus into a café and meeting place for the community.

Pupils from a school for the deaf have turned a bus into a café and meeting place for the community.

A group of students from Heathlands School in St Albans have launched a new centre to spread awareness about the deaf community and provide a place where they can meet.

They celebrated the project, which was completed by parents and students, to turn the bus into a multi-purpose room and café.

Co-headteacher Sarah Shield said the bus will allow pupils to develop life skills and to facilitate inclusion activities. She explained that staff will be able to run workshops for families or transport staff.

Some parents of pupils travel a long way to get to the school for pick-up and will now be able to relax while they wait for their children to finish, she added.

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St Albans mayor Janet Smith attended the launch alongside Jamie Clarke, the captain of both England and Great Britain deaf football teams.

The project was supported by the Heathlands School Parent Teacher Association, St Albans Lions Club, The Brewer Dance Academy and a grant from the National Deaf Children's Society.

Sarah Brinsden, teacher and project co-ordinator at Heathlands School, said: "I feel so proud of what has been achieved and hope the space can be put to good use straight away!

"The Lions who supported the project exclaimed how pleased they were to support such an innovative project."

Kerry Ross, of the National Deaf Children's Society, said: "We were delighted when Heathlands School told us all about this project, and so proud to help play a part in getting it off the ground.

"On behalf of the National Deaf Children's Society I want to congratulate the students and teachers at Heathlands for all their hard work. I have no doubt the bus will become a very valuable asset to the deaf community."

Heathlands School is a nursery, primary and secondary school for deaf children which provides day and residential provision.

For more information visit https://heathlands.herts.sch.uk/

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