Sultan trainees help revamp school’s outdoor facilities

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Air engineering technicians from HMS Sultan, recently helped out at a special needs school in Fareham.

St Francis School came under a series of attacks by vandals in November last year, causing more than £15,000 of damage and forcing the school to close.

With the school now back to normal, HMS Sultan trainees spent several days on a number of different maintenance tasks, including painting, cleaning and gardening. They also built a new shed within the school’s gardens.

Among the team of trainees involved was Matthew Parker, 21, who said: ‘One of the jobs that we undertook at the school involved using a pressure washer to get some of the moss removed from the playground.

‘Although this might not sound that interesting, we hope that it made the playground that bit safer and it’s rewarding to know that we have made the facility more accessible to the children.

‘It’s great to be able to help out where there is a real need. It was really sad to hear what the school has been through in recent times. It gives you a really warm feeling to know that you can help make a difference.’

Carol Marsh, school business manager said: ‘We had suffered a small amount of vandalism and graffiti before and during half-term.  After a report in the local newspapers, we had suffered extensive vandalism which included damaged roof tiles, smashed windows and skylights and  graffiti which made the fabric of the building unsafe and we had to close the school to the pupils for eight days.’

‘Since then the community have been fantastic and rallied round.  We have been overwhelmed with the response and in donations alone we have been given over £20,000. In addition we have received all sorts of gifts and support.

‘We are very grateful to the trainees from HMS Sultan for offering their support to the school, especially for their input towards revitalising our outdoor facilities.

‘As we move further into spring the children will spend a lot more time outside and will really benefit from what has been achieved.’