Monday, 25 February 2013
The Club has been a long time supporter of the Tettenhall Wood special school in Wolverhampton.
As part of the Building Schools for the Future project Wolverhampton secured £330 million funding to develop schools more suited to the needs of the new century.
Tettenhall Wood was one of the first schools in the area to benefit from the Scheme together with the Kings School and since September they have been co-located on the redeveloped Kings site - now known as the Tettenhall Learning Campus.
Headmaster Mostyn Mahoney, an old friend of the Club, joined us tonight to give us an insight into the design process.
Tettenhall Wood is the designated School in Wolverhampton for students diagnosed as autistic. The School's teaching methods mean that pupils need larger work areas and the new classrooms are large enough for each pupil to have their own individual work area, while still providing opportunities for group working and developing social interaction.
Specific break out areas within each classroom enable staff to move pupils into a calmer environment where anxieties can be overcome before pupils are re-integrated into the classroom.
Each of the classrooms has direct access to the outside providing a further level of break out as well as enabling staff to incorporate outdoor learning into the curriculum.
It's fair to say that Mostyn and his colleagues weren't able to secure all that they had wished in the design of the new school but the facilities are a massive improvement on their former premises and are making a real difference to the education which they are able to offer to these special pupils.
Members of the Club are looking forward to having the opportunity of seeing the school themselves this week when we visit the new site.
Monday, 18 February 2013
Most of us were expecting to hear a pious sermon when Reverend Garry Ward - the vicar of Claverley - came to talk to us this evening.
Whilst we did hear about Revd Garry's road to Christianity it was not the road that we might have imagined as Garry took us through his life - from challenging school days to a succession of jobs which has seen Garry qualify as a nurse and as the Midlands first male mid wife before joining the prison service and coming into contact with some of the nations more notorious criminals such as Bronson and Fred West.
For Garry as he moved between jobs there was always the feeling that something was missing and this eventually led him to the understanding of his calling to the ministry.
Garry filled the room with laughter and we're sure that his experiences to date will enrich his vocation and we wish him well in his ministry - especially considering the added burden which he bears of ministering to our own Club member Ken Swash - it may be enough to make Revd Garry come to wish he'd stayed with the Prison Service.
Monday, 11 February 2013
Founded in 1988 Crimestoppers is an independent charity which helps to find criminals and to solve crimes. The Charity was born out the recognition that often when a crime takes place many people who have information which could make sure that it was solved do not take action by reporting what they know to the police because they are too close to the criminal and fear retribution. Through the operation of an anonymous free-phone service and websites the charity offers those with information a secure means for them to get that information to the police and to make their families and communities safer.
Local Crimestopper volunteer Mac Jarvis joined us this evening to introduce the work of the charity in and around Wolverhampton and in particular in the Scotlands - an area of the City where residents had been unwilling to come forward with information which might help police to solve crimes.
Within two months of Crimestoppers starting a campaign in the area to publicise their service, calls to the charity had tripled and arrests from information given to Crimestoppers had gone up from zero over two previous years to nine in two months. Information on Anti-social behaviour (ABS) resulted in the City Council obtaining ABS orders against four youths and the removal/eviction of their families.
The estate is now turning around with reports of ABS reduced and residents willing to speak to the police and other agencies.
Mac and other Crimestopper volunteers are also working to promote Fearless a new web based service aimed at younger members of the community, getting it into schools and youth clubs and secondary schools, within areas of the City which are considered to be the recruiting grounds for drugs and guns gangs.
Mac was named the charity's Volunteer of the Year 2012 in recognition of his work on the projects and his commitment to the work of Crimestoppers. We wish Mac and his fellow volunteers continuing success in their work.