Chailey Heritage Celebrates Christmas With Local Lewes Children
Local Lewes children, Ella (16), Francesca (16), Eva (6) joined in the Christmas festivities alongside Mary, Joseph, shepherds and angels as the students at Chailey Heritage School celebrated Christmas this year.
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.
Mel, the mother of Eva from Lewes who is a student at Chailey says, “My daughter Eva attends Chailey Heritage and every year we look forward to the Christmas Play. It is an absolute joy to see Eva and the other children show off how they are progressing. They are all incredible children, and there is rarely a dry eye in the house. We are incredibly proud of Eva – she is progressing because of the ethos, the caring and the abilities of Chailey Heritage staff.”
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!”
The D.R.E.A.M. Centre Appeal aims to raise £2.6 million to fund the project. To donate to The D.R.E.A.M. Centre Appeal, or give DREAMTime, please visit www.chf.org.uk/dreamcentre or contact Sally-Anne Murray, Development Director on 01825 724752.