Packed with lots of laughter and joy, four different celebrations took place across the School including a crib service for students past and present, parents, governors and trustees; a nativity play performed by the youngest pupils from the St Martin’s Department; a Christmas play, The Night before Christmas hosted by pupils aged 10 to 14 from Seymour, and a traditional Sleeping Beauty Christmas panto staged by the older students from the School’s Hanbury Department.
However, what they really want for Christmas is The D.R.E.A.M. Centre – a new purpose-built hall – so that all the children, young adults and their families can come together in one place for celebrations and performances. Presently they can only perform to a small audience in the old hall, where the young people in wheelchairs can only access the stage via an outdoor side entrance with ramps. The D.R.E.A.M (Dynamic, Real, Experiential, Amazing, Magical) Centre will be a modern, purpose-built space, large enough for children and young people with complex disabilities to participate in a mixture of arts, drama and physical activities.
Chief Executive of Chailey Heritage Foundation, Helen Hewitt, comments, “Watching the children’s Christmas celebrations has been fantastic and it’s been amazing to be able to share their plays, concerts and services with their families and friends. What would be even more fantastic is for pupils to be able to stage a performance with proper lighting and sound and where all their families and school friends could come together and watch. The new D.R.E.A.M. Centre will do this and more!”