Technology boost for autism centre

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Freemasons in Belper have handed over £1,200 to help provide teaching aids at Holbrook Autism Centre (HCA).

The fundraising was started by Brian Smith, Worshipful Master of the Belper Lodge of St John whose members raised an initial £300. This figure was matched by Belper Masonic Benevolent Association and then by the Provincial and Lodge of Derbyshire, making the grand total.

Receiving the cheque, the centre’s head teacher, Julian Scholefield, thanked Belper and Derbyshire Freemasons for the donation and went on to explain the funds would be used to buy additional iPads and supporting software to enhance the existing technology available to all students.

Holbrook Autism Centre provides specialist schooling for autistic students between the ages of four and 19. Opened in 1997, the school initially opened its doors to 10 pupils but over the years that figure has grown to more than 60 with students coming from all over the country.

Pictured is Brian Smith of Belper Freemasons (far left) presenting a cheque to Julian Scholefield, head teacher of HCA with Simon Bishop, deputy head teacher, Richard Moss, treasurer of Belper Masonic Benevolent Association, and students from the school.