Andover-based landlord and developer Aster Group joined forces with some of its suppliers and contractors recently to carry out much-needed renovation work at Icknield School, a special school for children and young people aged 3-19 with severe learning difficulties.
Led by Aster’s operations director Gary Prince, 29 colleagues from Aster volunteered their time along with people from local businesses Premier Kitchens, Crown Paints, Nelson Recycling, EPW Construction, Mitie, AKW Medicare Limited, Purbeck Civil Engineering, ATF Suppliers, VPS Group and Jenks Group Arboriculture Contractors, all of which provided materials or services free of charge.
The team of volunteers worked over a period of five weeks to replace kitchen units, worktops, wall tiling and flooring, upgrade the toilets, refurbish the wetroom and knock down walls to create a much bigger sensory room for the children.
Sean Connon, Headmaster at Icknield School, said: “The whole centre has been transformed. It was an amazing job from start to finish and I cannot thank the people involved enough.
“What an amazing group of people, this shows that public spirit and good will is still alive and well, and when teams come together amazing things can be achieved."
As well as refurbishing the inside of the school, the grounds also got a makeover with trees being removed; handrails, gates and the summer house all getting a fresh coat of paint; and new wheelchair accessible paths were laid and new fencing erected allowing the children to access the play areas easily and safely.
Gary Prince added: “I was delighted to see how many Aster employees and local businesses got involved with what turned into quite a big community project. My granddaughter is a pupil at Icknield so the school and the work it does is really close to my heart; I’m really pleased to see just how much we can achieve as a community when we work together.”
Aster is committed to supporting its local communities and gives its employees the opportunity to volunteer 150 working days each year to support projects just like this one.