All Saints C of E Primary School in Coventry have worked with Honeybourne over a number of years, with Honeybourne undertaking their facilities management and SLA inspections.
In April 2014 the Site Services Bungalow situated adjacent to the school was vacated and left in what can only be described as a derelict state.
Business Manager, Michelle Sutcliffe explored various avenues with the help of Honeybourne as to what other uses this bungalow could serve. An application was duly submitted to the local authorities applying for “change of use”. The bungalow could become an essential educational and family support annexe with a sensory garden.
The application was never acknowledged but they remained undeterred. Michelle signed up Vagdia & Holmes, architects in Coventry who joined forces with the school and Honeybourne and an application was submitted again for “change of use”. Whilst waiting for a response, Vagdia & Holmes proceeded to draw up plans for the bungalow and Michelle spent many months trying to obtain support funding for the project.
In February 2016, after two years, the application was finally approved and work could get underway changing this neglected bungalow into a “support hub” which would benefit the school’s vulnerable children and families that required additional specialist care. It could become their space. Unfortunately Michelle’s attempts to obtain funding had fallen on deaf ears. Understanding the needs of the school and undeterred Doug Hunt came up with a plan to help the school and enlisted his own company and Buildbase of Coventry
Without the support of Honeybourne this project would never have started. With their team of endless qualified tradesmen they transformed the bungalow into a respectable and useable hub now known as The Saplings – “a space where our young, vulnerable children are nurtured to grow stronger with the support on offer”
The Saplings consists of a spacious reception area, which leads to 3 spacious sunny rooms which can be used for support including; counselling, art therapy, speech and language therapy, eye and hearing tests. It can also provide privacy for families attending meetings with outside agencies. There is also a kitchen area if refreshments are required.
Michelle advised that since The Saplings opened in January 2017 it is being utilised every day and the school has now adopted a room booking system to cope.
Michelle Sutcliffe said: I am delighted with the amenities put in place by Honeybourne, and with Doug Hunt their Director in particular. This very special space would not have been transformed without Doug’s vision, drive and positive attitude. He never gave up and wouldn’t allow me to either. Even when he knew we had only the smallest pot of money he found a way to create what we needed. I would like to thank Doug, on behalf of myself and the school community, for his generous assistance and also that of Buildbase, Coventry who provided most of the materials free of charge. All that remains now is to create and grow the sensory garden.