Students at Sheridan School wanted to do something for their local community this Christmas – and decided that improving the look of the community centre was just the ticket.
So they spent a day weeding, sweeping pathways, trimming bushes, removing litter and tidying flowerbeds so that the centre is looking its best for a full calendar of Christmas activities.
The Charles Burrell Centre in Staniforth Road, Thetford, Norfolk is an independent, non-profit, community and business centre based in a former high school building.
But keeping the 50-year-old building looking its best is quite an undertaking.
Helping rejuvenate the site will benefit the community and those using the site itself, said Mark Snowdon, centre manager, who praised the students for their dedication and hard-work. He said their attitude, behaviour and work ethic were exemplary.
“We have recently been granted charity status,” Mr Snowdon said.
“Last year we reopened the abandoned high school building - Charles Burrell High School/Thetford Academy South Campus – but being a non-profit organisation and operating in a 50-year-old high school, we do have difficulty keeping the site well maintained due to financial restrictions.
“So students and staff from Sheridan School in Northwold came to visit the centre and turned it into a ‘community day’. They completed all the clear-up tasks around the centre. All of the students were pleasant, polite and very well-behaved, and I am very grateful for the work they completed. It was a pleasure to have them here and they were a credit to their school.
“They made a significant difference to the overall appearance of the site. I’d like to thank staff and students and welcome them back very soon. The students do use the centre. They are currently using the main hall for PE lessons and I am very glad we are able to provide suitable facilities.”
One of the students who participated in the tidy-up said: “Taking part in team activities that help others is really good at keeping me calm and relaxed. I’m then able to stay focused for longer - and mostly all day.”
Another said: “I’ve really enjoyed helping others today, especially the people that work here, so now their workplace looks more appealing.”
Michelle Smith, the new principal of Sheridan School, said: “The students really careabout the community and like to play an active part within it, and to put something back. They have a strong sense of civic pride. It means something to them and as Thomas pointed out, there is a dual benefit. I am really proud of what they have done. It’s the best way to wish Thetford a happy Christmas.”
Sheridan School, run by Priory Education Services, is rated ‘good’ by Ofsted, the education inspectorate. It is a mixed residential and day school for pupils with emotional and behaviour difficulties aged 8-18 based in Thetford Road.