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Yorkshire Freemasons make £58k donation to Castle Hill School so kids can ‘feel sounds’ in sensory pod

Castle Hill School kids can ‘feel sounds’ in £58k sensory pod

(Photo: Huddersfield Examiner)

Pupils at Castle Hill School in Huddersfield will be able to “feel” sound in a £58,000 sensory pod thanks to a major donation by Yorkshire Freemasons.

The hi-tech, mobile, purpose-built pod, which provides an interactive learning environment, was bought with the assistance of a £40,000 grant from the Freemasons. The remainder was raised by parents, staff, friends and other supporters, including headteacher’s son Sam Taylor who ran the arduous Marathon des Sables in the Sahara Desert.

Castle Hill caters for the needs of 120 children and young adults aged three to 19 with severe or profound learning difficulties. The pod is a bespoke piece of equipment that will allow them to experience mood lighting, smells, temperature-controlled storytelling and to feel sound via vibrations.

IT manager Greg Firth said the school was grateful for the money and for the pod it has bought. “We are lucky to have got the money, and to buy the pod,” he said. “There are not many of them around.”

West Riding Freemasons provided £40,000 of the cost of the sensory pod and senior Mason John Gledhill said: “Having seen at first hand the tremendous dedication of teachers and staff in support of pupils within this special and specialist school, this exciting new facility will further enhance the creative and learning environment at Castle Hill.”

Huddersfield area communities can expect further significant support in 2017 as Freemasons mark the tercentenary of the United Grand Lodge of England.Opening of sensory pod at Castle Hill School, Huddersfield – Pupils Aaron Danett, Maya Black and Oliver Dean with Assistant Head Zoe Parker in the pod

Provincial Grand Master David Pratt has announced that £300,000 will be made available across the region in recognition of the milestone, which coincides with the bicentenary of Yorkshire, West Riding Freemasons.

Charities requiring further information should write to the Charity Steward of their local lodge.

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