Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 14.18.01A CAMPAIGN to raise funds for a much-need hydrotherapy pool refurbishment has won the support of a local MP.

Richmond’s MP Rishi Sunak has pledged to do all he can to support bids for funding for The Dales School, Morton-on-Swale, near Northallerton.

For the past two years the Friends of the Dales School have worked tirelessly to raise funds for the renovation of its decades-old hydrotherapy pool.

The facility was opened 29 years ago after another public fund-raising campaign and since then has helped children with complex needs, proving physiotherapy and independent movement in the safety of the heated water.

Friends enlisted the support of Hydroduck, a mascot that has travelled the world raising tens of thousands of pounds for the cause.

TV’s Emmerdale soap stars also helped out by staging a match against Crakehall Cricket Club that raised another £7,000.

Mr Sunak was invited to visit the school after he wrote to the chairman of governors Paul Chubb congratulating him on the awarding of his MBE.

He was welcomed by Mr Chubb and then given the grand tour by assistant head teacher Anne Baker meeting staff and pupils and enjoying biscuits baked by one of the students.

He said: “We are incredibly lucky to have The Dales School which is transforming the lives of young people who have not been dealt the best hand in life. It is a huge investment in their futures and the warmness of the culture and ethos of the school is clear to see.”

Mrs Baker told the MP that staff are leading experts in their fields and helping to shape the curriculum nationally for young people with complex needs.

She said: “We are enterprising as well and enjoy the challenge of bringing in funds to the school.

“The public have also been amazing. We have just received a cheque from Romanby Ladies Golf Club for £3,500 and £13,000 from a charitable organisation. But equally important is the support we receive from individuals who send in what they can afford.”

Mr Chubb added: “This school is truly special and provision that is developed here is shared with other parts of the country. The most distinctive feature of our approach is that every single student has a personalised learning programme that is reviewed to ensure they make the very best progress.”

The school won national recognition recently for the introduction of MOVE, an initiative that helps children become more mobile.

Children with complex needs have been benefiting for more than two years from the introduction of MOVE – Movement Opportunity Via Education.

Piloted in America, MOVE improves the quality of life for people with complex disabilities, their families and the professionals who care for them.

It aims to promote participation and encourage independence and dignity. For some children this means sitting in a chair or on a bench or walking representing a major achievement.

It also has hubs around the area for its post-19 provision allowing students to learn in the community, including successful ones at Northallerton School and Sixth Form College, a pop-up café at The Forum, Northallerton, and at Northdale Horticultual charity.