Transforming Lives Appeal
At Seashell Trust, we're here to make things happen. The day when a vulnerable or disabled child or young person arrives at Seashell is the day everything starts to change. We make a real difference to the lives of those with a combination of deafness, blindness, autism, physical disabilities, multiple learning difficulties or significant brain damage. Now we want to do more for the families who need us most.
Chief Executive & Principal
Sometimes, making things happen means making big choices. To help us continue and extend our work, our big choice has been to create a National Centre of Excellence that will help us reach out to many more families across the UK, so that families don't endure a system that rewards failure and disincentivises early intervention.
The Seashell Trust vision is that by 2020 we will be able to support any child and family in the UK that needs our specialised support. The new centre will enable us to transform the lives and communication of children with the most complex needs so that they and their families can enjoy bright, positive futures.
To achieve this, we are embarking on a major transformation plan that by 2020 will see £45 million worth of investment to build a new state-of-the-art Royal School Manchester and associated campus facilities which will be open to the community.
The Council for Disabled Children wholeheartedly supports Seashell Trust's ambition to establish a national centre for young people with the most complex communication difficulties. From our discussions with the parents/carers of children and young people with such profound disabilities I know how isolated they can feel. A specialist centre designed to meet their very specific needs will be welcomed by the CDC, parents, carers and professionals alike.
Dame Christine Lenahan
Chief Executive, Council for Disabled Children
The Stoller Charitable Trust is grateful for the opportunity to salute the dedication of the staff at Seashell and to associate ourselves with such a worthy cause.
Sir Norman Stoller CBE DL
Stoller Charitable Trust
The first step of our site transformation was to build Sir Norman Stoller Way, a community of 17 home-from-home houses, which we achieved ahead of schedule thanks to the remarkable generosity of a number of philanthropists, companies, trusts and foundations.
Now our priority is to attract the support of like-minded individuals and organisations with the ability to make leadership gifts, share their business acumen and influence others.
We have set the bar high but without this level of ambition, many of the UK's most vulnerable children are at risk of being left behind. We hope you will feel compelled to become one of our founding campaign partners to help us achieve our vision.
You and your team have taken the school from strength to strength since the last inspection. The [staff]'s 'dedication and commitment' is recognised by parents who appreciate that 'all staff want the child to achieve the best they can'.
Letter to Head of School by Her Majesty's Inspector,
Our 1950s school was not purpose-built for Seashell's current pupils and students who have significantly more complex needs requiring very specialist intervention. Despite regular investment and Outstanding (2016) ratings from Ofsted, the buildings present numerous challenges that are only expected to impact negatively upon our young people over time. Ultimately this will undermine our ability to deliver Oustanding-rated teaching and learning.
Not only do our out-of-date school and facilities impact on the teaching and care of our pupils but increasingly we have to turn more families away who could benefit from our expertise. A situation that we only expect to get worse as demand grows.
It is imperative that we build a new state-of-the-art school within the next five years to give some of the country's most vulnerable children and young people the support they deserve. Improving our teaching practice with schools around the country.
New Sports & Recreational Facilities
Our pupils need essential therapeutic sessions in our hydrotherapy and swimming pool, as they are fundamental to supporting their specialist health and wellbeing programmes. However, their ageing condition means increased maintenance and staffing costs that divert our budgets away from work that directly impacts our pupils.
Seashell also runs an inclusive community sports programme, Children's Able and Disabled Sports ('CADS'), offering unique opportunities to play a range of sports at grass-roots level in a safe, non-judgmental environment with able-bodied children from the local community.
If we are to enable our children and young people to develop as rounded members of their community with the same right to a social life as other young people, it is vital that we build new, upgraded and integrated sports facilities on-site to enable the full delivery of these therapeutic and innovative programmes.
Early Intervention & Coordinated Support
There is currently no one place in the country where parents can take their child to access a range of experts or where they can benefit from a coordinated programme of assessment and early intervention. It currently takes families around 18 stressful months to get a complete diagnosis for their child involving multiple visits to see multiple consultants in multiple hospitals.
Our aim is to create a 'one-stop shop' of highly specialist support at our new National Centre in Cheadle Hulme. We will bring together a range of clinicians and practitioners to offer coordinated assessments, with accommodation offered, to enable families to stay as a family and to be observed in the homelike environment of two new houses specially built for this purpose. Crucially, our aim will be to reach children as early as possible, so that interventions will have the greatest possible impact.
Our vision is that by 2020, we will be able to help children and families in need of our support by extending our reach beyond the campus.
Our innovative programme will enable us to work with families in the comfort of their own homes, using teleconferencing consultations to support them.
We will also create a Training and Community Centre, using our on-site facilities, to provide extensive training to 5,000 professionals from across the country each year. As part of this, we aspire to attain Teaching School status.
This will enable us to reach families with complex needs with a group of highly skilled professionals who can provide the best support possible in the home setting.
Sadly, services often fail children with the most profound and complex disabilities. Seashell's developments will lead the way in supporting families and professionals to achieve the best outcomes for some of society's most vulnerable children and young people.
Professor Adam Davies, OBE
Chief Advisor, The NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme, Director of Population Health Science, Public Health England
"My son James is 16 and lives at Seashell Trust all year round. He was born 15 weeks early, with brain damage. He has cerebral palsy; he can’t walk or talk or use his left hand. He uses a wheelchair and is doubly incontinent. He also has epilepsy, learning difficulties and is severely autistic.
By the time he was 8, I realised that we couldn’t support him properly at home. His autism meant that his need for routine and his fear of change was so great that he wouldn’t leave the house except to go to school. I did some research and I realised that what James needed was to live somewhere where there was complete continuity between home and school, a seamless, wrap around environment with one-to-one support for him all the time. I travelled all over the country in despair, and then found Seashell Trust.
James lives in a bungalow on site all year round, and walks or cycles the 100 metres to school each day, which is also part of his physiotherapy routine. His bungalow is newly built, state of the art,
funded by generous donors who supported Phase 1 of the appeal. In contrast the school and college buildings are outdated and shabby. I had to overlook the narrow corridors, where two wheelchairs can’t pass each other. I was able to overlook these things because I could see that all the staff here would treat James with respect and affection. That they were all highly skilled in dealing with autism. That they would unlock his potential using the latest technology, and help him to lead a more fulfilled and happy life."
Phase 2 of the appeal will enable us to build on the facilities and support we've already provided for James, and help more students like him to achieve and learn the skills to better shape their own future.
Recognising the unique challenges faced by individual students, the design creates an adaptable and flexible series of environments which can be reconfigured in terms of space, lighting, acoustics, furniture and equipment in a holistic holistic approach to suit the needs of each and every child. The school will become the centre piece of a community of residential, learning, social and recreation spaces for students like James.
Seashell Trust is clearly carving out a niche for itself in the field of multi-sensory impaired children and young people with additional complex needs. The organisation has compelling and ambitious plans to be at the forefront of the delivery of quality education and care for this exceedingly vulnerable population. I have rarely, if ever, come across such outstanding service delivery. I have rarely, if ever, come across such outstanding service delivery. I wish the charity every success in achieving its goals and ambitions as part of its Transforming Lives Appeal.
Prof. Dr. Jan van Dijk,
International practitioner, researcher and advocate in the field of deafblindness
For this project, Seashell Trust is investing £3 million from reserves, the sale of assets, and some loan finance. But we still need further funds to deliver this critical project, in its entirety. The Transforming Lives Appeal enables us to boost this investment whilst giving others the opportunity to make a difference. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters we have already raised over £8 million from those who share our vision in order to create 17 new purpose-built homes-away-from home.
But we can’t stop here. We need to attract the support of individuals and organisations able to make leadership gifts, share their business acumen and influence others to help us raise the remaining £9 million in fundraising support that we require for the next phase of our vision. Donating to Transforming Lives is an opportunity for supporters to directly enable a major transformation in the lives of the most vulnerable children and young people, now and for years to come.
A visit to the Seashell Trust is a deep emotional experience the like of which one does not get from any other charity, and the work undertaken is truly inspiring. The new houses that have been built for the young people are of outstanding design and quality as befits young people with some of the most challenging needs in our community.
Michael Oglesby CBE, DL
Oglesby Charitable Trust
It is an opportunity to make an innovative investment as it will support some of the most cutting edge campus and programme developments that will lead the way in the sector and inspire others to learn from our ambitions.
Our vision is to make the future a better place for the people we support. With your help we can greatly improve their quality of care and their quality of life. At Seashell Trust, we’re dedicated to making that happen.
As a regular visitor to Seashell Trust, I have seen for myself how the lives of children and young people and families are transformed by this outstanding organisation (Ofsted). As a recognized national centre of expertise in the field of ‘high need, low incidence sensory impairments’ the Trust’s plans to reach more families across the country, are inspiring. The charity’s Transforming Lives Appeal, which details their vision for families, is deserving of the widest support. I applaud their exciting ambitions to reach and improve the lives of families from across the country.
Visiting Professor of Special Educational Needs and Disability Derby University, Visiting Fellow Centre for Government and Charity Management London South Bank University
Find our Transforming Lives Appeal brochure here.