HINDHEAD was a hive of activity recently as representatives from Little Lumpy cut the ribbon on new outdoor equipment for the students at Undershaw.
The event was the final stage of a year-long partnership between Undershaw and Little Lumpy.
Undershaw was nominated as Little Lumpy's Charity Partner last year. Little Lumpy's cycling sportive took place in May, as it does every year.
The registration fees go towards supporting local charities and Little Lumpy wanted an impactful, outdoor project to get behind – and that is exactly what Undershaw gave them.
Undershaw's student council, made up of elected students, highlighted the need for new equipment. But for the students who struggle with their sensory regulation, it is so much more than play equipment.
A team of enthusiastic amateur cyclists from the Undershaw community joined the 400 riders from across the country in the Little Lumpy Sportive, which took place in May this year.
They took on routes of their choosing which covered distances of either 40, 60 or 100 miles, and included sections through the likes of South Harting, Teglease, Chalton, Stedham and Lurgashall. The routes were specially chosen to encompass beautiful scenery – and testing ups and downs with stunning views as a reward for longer climbs.
Undershaw received £4534 from the event which covered the cost of the equipment.
Nicky Ryan, an occupational therapist at Undershaw, said the equipment is giving students “more autonomy in managing their needs independently” and is “making such a difference to our school life”.
Emma West, headteacher of Undershaw, said: "We have a responsibility to enrich the lives of our students in every way possible. We focus on each attribute of character, from academic attainment to the subtleties of friendships, from the development of language to the experiences of workplaces, and from coaching life skills to teaching risk-taking in Forest School.
"This is Undershaw. Our partnership with Little Lumpy has contributed to our provision in such an impactful way – we had such a great time supporting the event and look forward to many more years of friendship with the sportive."
Ken Griffiths, chairman of Little Lumpy, added: "I was thrilled to see how the whole school community got involved with the event and we are excited to continue our friendship with Undershaw this year."
Rob Stock, a parent who cycled in the Undershaw team, said: "Thanks all for such a fun day out and for raising funds for Undershaw, it means a lot. I was in the school team of riders, and my son, who is autistic, goes to Undershaw.
"The school has been amazing and has transformed my son in so many ways into the happy and confident 16-year-old he is today. He joined the school aged 11 from another school, where he had had a torrid time being bullied and with little confidence and low self-esteem. Undershaw has been truly superb, and your money could not be better spent. Well done to the Little Lumpy team."