Rob Shows His Love On The Rebound For Hadrian School

Issue 33

The opening of a pioneering new £1.4 million rebound therapy centre with six trampolines for disabled children and adults to use in Newcastle has had everyone jumping for joy.

After five years of fundraising, The Rob Armstrong Centre for Rebound Therapy is the new addition to Hadrian School in Benwell. The school looks after some of the most severely disabled children in the North East, catering for pupils aged two to 11 years with a range of additional needs, including complex, severe learning difficulties and profound and multiple learning difficulties.

The new centre will provide pupils with the facilities needed to enhance their learning experience while helping to improve their fitness and communication skills. Rebound Therapy uses trampolines to provide opportunities for movement, therapeutic exercise and recreation for people across the whole spectrum of special needs.

Much of the fundraising done to make the rebound centre a reality has been carried out by the man who the centre is named after. Successful businessman and entrepreneur, Rob Armstrong from Ponteland has worked his way up through the tough business world after an even tougher upbringing in Newcastle’s west end. Although Rob’s business interests now include LA Taxis and MTrec Recruitment, he has never left his west end roots and has dedicated his time, effort and financial support to helping the school.

He started his association with Hadrian more than 15 years ago when he replaced computers that were stolen by callous thieves. Ever since, he has been a driving force in fundraising both personally and through his many business connections.

Rob has been the main sponsor and driver of the project from day one and has used his business connections and friends to help with the fundraising machine. The balance of the project has been funded by the generosity of local businesses offering to supply materials, labour and specific skills often significantly discounted or even free of charge including the project designers, Building Surveyors Limited.

The new 270m2 centre houses six trampolines and related therapy resources to enable Rebound Therapy to take place six days a week for the benefit of pupils from Hadrian School and for those with additional needs of all ages in Newcastle and across the region. The centre also contains a training suite and a music and dance studio. Sports England has also generously supported the project to the tune of £150,000 for the benefit of the disabled community.

Head Teacher Chris Rollings has nothing but praise for Rob’s generosity.

“Were it not for Rob, this project would have remained a distant dream. Rob has a generous spirit, a kind heart, a real sense of his roots and knows how lucky he is to have been given the life chances he has. He knows that our children are some of the most vulnerable children in the city and he wants to make a difference. Our school motto is ‘Together we make a difference’ and with Rob’s help, support, friendship that has happened on a massive scale. We are delighted to acknowledge Rob’s massive contribution by naming the centre after him”

Naming the centre after Rob was an honour that he was very proud to accept.

“I had a lump in my throat today when I saw the good work taking place with the children on the trampolines,” he said. “These children are getting the very best care, support and education. I’m very proud to have been able to help.”

The project will allow the school to train teachers, physiotherapists, teaching and learning assistants, occupational therapists, sports coaches, care staff, special needs support staff to be Rebound Therapy coaches. They will also work closely with parents to train them to be able to support their own children with Rebound Therapy programmes.

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