Children’s unit reopens after volunteers’ revamp

Ryegate staff and volunteers ' everyone on the picture took part in the makeover
Ryegate staff and volunteers ' everyone on the picture took part in the makeover

A UNIT for children with disabilities in Sheffield was officially reopened after a huge effort by volunteers.

Staff at Barnsley-based Dransfield Properties not only went on a 326-mile cycle ride from Marseille in France to Portofino in Italy to raise money for the Ryegate Centre in Tapton, but also carried out the refurbishment of the therapy block.

The reopening ceremony was performed by managing director Mark Dransfield and three-year-old patient Ollie Saxton, of Intake, who was born with cerebral palsy spastic diplegia.

Mr Dransfield was part of a group of cyclists that raised £15,574 through the cycle marathon and then he led a team of friends, family and colleagues to do the revamp over a weekend.

He said: “I have been overwhelmed by how generous people have been with their time and money to make this project happen.

“We worked in shifts from Friday afternoon right through to Sunday night and the commitment from the whole team has been incredible.”

Superbike champion James Toseland, a keen supporter of the Children’s Hospital Charity, also donated money, while Gavin Ward, partner at WCEC Architects in Chesterfield, was heavily involved in the project.

Jenny Featherstone, team leader for community physiotherapy and occupational therapy service, said: “It has been a fantastic transformation. When staff arrived at work this week, there were gasps of amazement and a real sense of ‘wow’. Throughout the week, parents have been commenting on how great it looks and the children have been enjoying the new equipment and environment.”

The unit is run by Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.