Medical support transforming lives

A visit to Strathmore School for the opening of the Soft Play room funded by TVF

Published: 08 June 2022


The Victoria Foundation is proud to have supported Strathmore School for over 10 years. Strathmore is  a happy, thriving, oversubscribed, and growing special school for children and young people aged 4 -19 with severe and complex learning difficulties including those with an additional diagnosis of autism and/or physical/sensory disabilities.

The Foundation has awarded over £70,000 in grants to fund sensory equipment for the school and hydrotherapy pool, specialist communication aids, iPads and trikes, a contribution towards an accessible minibus and a new Soft Play Room.

“We were delighted to be invited to Strathmore School for the opening of the new Soft Play Room and to find out more about the difference our grant funding has made to the children and their families and will continue to make.

It was wonderful to meet the staff and children and to see how the youngsters are benefiting in so many ways from the new Soft Play Room, to hear about the difference the specialist trikes are making both at school and during the holidays, and to leave knowing that all of the specialist equipment that TVF has funded over the years is so greatly appreciated and continues to make such a great impact is so many ways.

I cannot thank TVF’s generous supporters for their donations which have helped to make all of this possible”.   

Graham Ball, Founder and CEO of The Victoria Foundation 

“As the guests to the formal opening of the refurbished Soft Play Room can attest, the smiles on the faces of the children tell the whole story.

The space created is not just for fun, it provides an environment for all sorts of activities – especially learning. As well as giving children the opportunity to maintain or develop their physical skills, including balance and coordination, they are developing their communication skills, following staff instructions to go ‘up’, ‘down’, ‘in’, ‘over, ‘under’ etc. And some are giving instructions to their peers! They are counting up, counting down, recognising and naming colours too, whilst having fun! 

Outside, the pupils continue being active on the new adapted bikes and trikes.

The impact of the new resources that The Victoria Foundation has, with their generosity and that of all the TVF supporters, is not just on the pupils in school. It has been felt at home with the bikes and other resources being borrowed over the school holidays. Family bike rides are no longer a desire – they are experiences whole families have enjoyed.

The staff and pupils and their families are so very grateful to TVF – your continued support for the school community really does make a huge difference to the lives of our learners. Just look at the faces!”

Ivan Pryce, Headteacher Strathmore School, and CEO Auriga Academy Trust

“The new soft playroom provides an excellent environment for physiotherapy sessions. The soft mats on the floor are an unstable surface which challenges the children’s balance, helping them to improve their walking and running skills. The new stairs, stepping stones and inclined slopes help the children to work on their strength, balance and coordination. The vibrating tubes give sensory input which can be so helpful for sensory regulation, but also help the children to work on their arm and core strength by working hard to turn them on.

These skills are all important when accessing community environments – improvement in balance and coordination can help children navigate busy playgrounds and walk on a variety of surfaces (like grass or cobbled streets) and increased strength and stability can help children to climb stairs or up curbs without the need for adult assistance and walk for longer before getting tired.

Above all the new soft playroom is very motivating for the children, who really enjoy using it. It is the perfect place to build on the child’s physical skills, both with the physiotherapy team in a structured programme but also with classroom staff and classmates, just by accessing and enjoying the soft play environment.”

Ellen Ewer, Physiotherapist Strathmore School


“Visiting Strathmore brought everything into perspective for me. To see the children actively enjoying the equipment provided by The Victoria Foundation makes everything we do to raise awareness of the charity and help fundraise very, very worthwhile.” 

Alison Jee – TVF Ambassador

“I really got a lot from our visit to Strathmore School  ..  we were made very welcome by the staff and children, lovely baked croissants and coffee before we were shown round.

I found the teaching staff and helpers very inspirational, their energy, love and joy was infectious, especially in the soft play room where the teacher had to mirror the little girl’s actions and she was very active.  

The mobility bikes obviously help to give as much independence as possible and have been a great success.  

It illustrated to me what the fund raising by the Victoria Foundation has achieved and how valuable is their support.   It was a lovely visit.”

Angela Poulter, TVF Supporter

“ Thank you for arranging our visit to Strathmore House last month.

It was very interesting to see how the school operates and just how important the work of The Victoria Foundation in helping.

We were made very welcome by the staff and it was great to include many of the children, who were marvellous. Good to see the Soft Play Room and the mobility bikes in use, giving the children both confidence and independence. The mini buses are also such an important asset.

The atmosphere of the school was one of joy and calm, the staff and volunteers were very impressive. It was also interesting to meet Jane Curzon.

Altogether, an instructive visit and one that makes our fund raising even more important.

Very inspiring!

Wishing Strathmore all the best.”

Richard Poulter, TVF Ambassador


“As a Business Adviser of 30+ years, I quickly get a feel of an organisation on a visit. At Strathmore, I was impressed by the purpose-built premises, the dedicated staff and the smiles on the faces of the pupils - overall a very happy environment. Over the last ten  years, The Victoria Foundation has funded Strathmore to the tune of over £70k - and it was good to see these funds have been put to good use.”

Norman Jackson, TVF Ambassador