Treehouse project to get fundraising boost

Work starts on the treehouse classrooms
Work starts on the treehouse classrooms

Staff at Hightown Housing Association will be raising funds to help a special school in Hemel Hempstead kit out its new classroom treehouses.

Hightown’s charity committee is planning a series of fundraising activities to help towards the £20,000 needed to complete the two ‘eco classrooms’ at The Collett School in Lockers Park Lane.

The treehouses, which will be built into two oak trees, with level access from the playground, are being built as the first initiative in the school’s Special Spaces project.The project aims to support learning for children with special needs by creating an imaginative environment to inspire them.

In the last two years, Hemel Hempstead-based Hightown and its staff have raised more than £16,000 for Re:All, an international housing charity which helps homeless people in Africa and Asia.

But for its next fundraising campaign, the charitable housing association decided to support a local charity. It will be double-matching all the cash fundraised by its staff, up to a maximum of £20,000 in a year.

For every £1,000 raised by staff, Hightown will donate an extra £2,000.

Special Spaces project manager at The Collett School, Gillian Lawton, said: “Half our children are autistic and we want to create a sensory workplace which will also be functional and sustainable. Everything we do at our school is child focused and we know this is what they want.

“Simple things do make a difference to attainment and the children are tremendously excited about it. We are also short of classroom space and these will be much better than temporary classrooms.”

Hightown chief executive David Bogle said: “We want to make a real difference to our community, and we’re pleased to be giving our backing to such an inspirational project. The aims of the school complement the work that Hightown already does in Hertfordshire, supporting adults with learning disabilities to live as independently as possible.”