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Grant opens up new chapter for pupils at Bradford special school

A new initiative to help Bradford children with visual impairments learn to read is poised for launch after it secured a community award from one of the district’s biggest employers.

Chellow Heights Special School, on Thorn Lane, is to develop a library of tactile books so its teachers can use an interactive approach to enable pupils to “read with their hands” for the first time.

It follows a successful application by Chellow Hearts, the school’s family and friends charity, to the Community Fund run by the green energy and recycling specialists, the Leo Group.

The initiative will benefit 60 blind and visually impaired children who attend the school.

Chair of Chellow Hearts, Vicki Street, said:

“These books also use Braille, large print, textures and sounds, and will be a valuable learning resource which will last many years.

“They would also be loaned to families and hopefully create a platform for us to break new ground and produce our own books like these in school, as there is a real shortage of them to purchase here in the UK.”

Catherine Horn, community liaison officer of the Leo Group, which operates the Omega Proteins site at Thornton, Bradford, said:

“We are delighted that these books will open up the world of reading to a new and young audience.

“It is an initiative that equips children with visual impairments with the same opportunities as other children, developing new skills at the same time to encourage independence.”

Chellow Hearts was awarded all £380 it sought from the Leo Group Community Fund to launch this library of specially-designed books as part of its “I Read With My Hands” project.

The community fund supports grassroots organisations across the area and has made a key contribution to the £200,000 that the Leo Group has donated to good causes in the past two years.

It was set up in 2011 with the aim of supporting a host of good causes that benefit children, particularly those involved in sporting activities, educational projects, cultural and environmental initiatives as well as schemes that aim to banish isolation.

Pictured from left are Catherine Horn, Le Group community liaison officer; Carol Pratt, a visual impairment support worker at Chellow Heights Special School, and pupil Mamoon Din

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