Royle visit to declare Thornton gym open!

Pupils at Great Arley School in Thornton are hop, skip and jumping for joy after community groups and the PTFA helped raise £14,000 for an outside gym.

Comedian and Blackpool panto favourite Steve Royle yesterday opened the new gym, which will allow youngsters to get fit in the fresh air.

Comedian Steve Royle opens the new outdoors gym at Great Arley School in Thornton.  He is pictured with headteacher Peter Higham and pupils Dalton Fieldhouse and Liam Duffy.

Comedian Steve Royle opens the new outdoors gym at Great Arley School in Thornton. He is pictured with headteacher Peter Higham and pupils Dalton Fieldhouse and Liam Duffy.

And while he was there, he entertained the children with interactive stories and a spot of juggling.

Elaine Edwards, the Holly Road school’s funding coordinator, said it was thanks to the hard work of the PTFA, parents, carers, and friends of the school that the money was raised.

She said: “We wanted to encourage our pupils to have a healthier lifestyle.

“Research shows after 15 minutes of exercise children are more able to concentrate and more ready to learn.”

And the new addition to the school has proved a huge hit with pupils, who could not wait to give it a go.

Elaine said: “They absolutely love it. They can access it in all weathers and are using it at lunch and break times. We are trying to meet our pupils sensory needs by having an outside gym.

And it has had a noticeable effect. We have noticed children becoming fitter and some have lost weight.”

Elaine said all the gym equipment has been certified safe and suitable for children at the special school.

Groups that helped raise the cash included a local Masonic lodge, and Normoss round table lodge, with a huge £1,700 donated by Semper Fidelis Mark Lodge.

Other fundraisers included Poulton Rotary Club, Thornton and Cleveleys Lions Club and McColl’s in Fleetwood. Parents also got involved.

Mum’s run!

Sylvia Chison, mum of 10-year-old pupil Anais, did a sponsored run to help fundraise.