A SPECIAL Oldbury school has had its grounds transformed thanks to volunteers from is Network Rail.

The Meadows Sports College initially contacted Network Rail to ask for donations of sleepers to use in their memorial garden, but the firm responded by sending a team of volunteers to give the school’s memorial garden a complete make-over.

The memorial garden area of the school was previously inaccessible for pupils and families who are wheelchair users, but the school council and parents group wanted to improve access so everyone could have the opportunity to remember those pupils and staff that have passed away.

Jo Cliffe, headteacher, said: “We are absolutely stunned by the work that has been done by this wonderful team of volunteers from Network Rail.

“We would like to thank the Network Rail team for everything they have done and want to welcome them back soon for the official opening ceremony.

“When organisations engage with special schools, it is of benefit to our pupils, but also wider society – helping everyone to understand how important it is to accept diversity and celebrate the individual skills that each of us bring.

“Our pupils, families and the staff team at The Meadows are incredibly grateful for the work that has been undertaken and wish to express their heartfelt thanks for all that has been done in their behalf.”

The team from Network Rail, headed up by Allun Edge, infrastructure maintenance protection coordinator, provided all of their labour on a volunteer basis, and used part of the ‘five volunteer days’ that they are entitled to each year to support this worthwhile project.

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Sixth Form students at the school kept the volunteers fed and watered, providing them with bacon and sausage sandwiches and gallons of tea and coffee.

Allun added: “It was a real pleasure for all of us to visit The Meadows, meet the brilliant pupils and help make the memorial garden a special place for them to enjoy. And those bacon sarnies were amazing.”

Work is still underway to get the garden finished and the school hope to raise some money for the centrepiece sculpture by Cradley Heath artist Luke Perry.

This piece of artwork has been designed by Luke, along with the bereaved families, to remember the individual pupils in a personalised manner.