Biala Special School in Ballina is excited to be opening a new safer playground space today that was refurbished using a $30,000 grant from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation.
Earlier this year, Principal Bhavni Stewart and Biala Support Services CEO, Linda Walsh accepted the grant to allow the project to proceed with the laying of a new weather proof synthetic surface in the playground.
‘We’re overwhelmed by the amount of support from Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation over the last 10 years with the Foundation also funding our respite camps and the upgrade of Melaleuca House,’ Linda said.
Bhavni Stewart said that the old playground had been rendered unsafe due to exposure to Northern Rivers weather. It simply had become either slippery in the rain or baked hard by the sun.
‘The new playground surface provides a safer environment and more user-friendly space for our students, which is so important in any school, but particularly one like ours which caters to children with intellectual and physical disabilities,’ Bhavni said.
Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation Chairman, Phil Neat said the key focus of its grant-giving was to support the organisations delivering life-changing services in local communities.
‘For almost 50 years Biala Special School is a community-built and run service which has brought joy, education and opportunity to the lives of people with a disability,’ he said.
‘It has become an extension of many families caring for loved-ones with disabilities, which is testament to its successful formula and the dedication of staff.’
‘The Foundation is proud to support Biala in its work and to help make the daily experience of its students just that little bit better,’ Phil said.
Biala Special School is a small independent school for students with a moderate to severe intellectual disability and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder. Biala Support Services provides support to adults with a disability through a range of social, community and recreational programs, as well as accommodation support.