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Eastlea triumphs in ITV People's Millions competiton

PUBLISHED: 09:00 27 November 2010

Reachback, L-R Tom McHenry (Loughton), Joe Williams, Ruby Williams, Craig Chin (Buckhurst Hill).

Reachback, L-R Tom McHenry (Loughton), Joe Williams, Ruby Williams, Craig Chin (Buckhurst Hill).

Archant

STUDENTS at Eastlea Community School were jumping for joy when they learned they had won £50,000 in an ITV competition.

The school in Exning Road , Canning Town, triumphed in an ITV People’s Millions Fund public vote last week with a proposal to build a sensory trike track allowing disabled and able-bodied pupils to play together.

Danny Mead. Assistant Principal, Extended Services, said: “We were waiting with baited breath for the announcement on the London Tonight programme. Around 50 children were watching the TV at school. Everyone went ballistic when they said we’d won.”

An ITV reporter was on hand to present the ecstatic children with their cheque live on air.

Danny put together the proposal for the scheme with the help of the school’s Special Education Needs Co-ordinator Colin Hutchinson. The plans include six specially-designed electric, pedal-driven and hand-propelled tricycles that will be imported from the US. They will enable able-bodied and disabled pupils to ride tandem-style around the sensory track.

The track will include a swing that can be used by wheelchair users, a sensory garden and water, sand and games areas. Danny said he hoped landscaping would begin by next summer, with the scheme completed by 2012.

The People’s Millions scheme is awarding £3.8 million of Big Lottery Fund money to good causes through public votes this year.

The Big Lottery Fund’s Alison Rowe said: “This is a great result for Eastlea and shows what groups can achieve when they have the support of the community.”

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