Spalding

A school in Spalding will undergo a huge £7.2 million redevelopment as part of Lincolnshire County Council’s special education needs school investment.

The refurbishment project at The Priory School in Spalding will offer improved specialist facilities for 127 pupils aged between four and 19, helping the school transition from an 11-19 age ambulant school to an all-needs facility.

The extension will be built on the existing setup of the school, with nine new classrooms, a social recreation space, life skills room, increased toilet provision of suitable need and meeting space.

It is part of Lincolnshire County Council’s wider £86 million SEND (Special Education Needs and Disabilities) school investment programme.

The school extension should be ready in time for the next academic year in September 2022. | Photo: Willmott Dixon

The project was secured by national contractor Willmott Dixon, and it will become the fourth scheme delivered by the firm within Lincolnshire, delivering 500 additional SEND school places in all.

It is hoped that the development will be complete by September 1, 2022 to align with the next academic year.

Councillor Mrs Patricia Bradwell, executive member for children’s services at Lincolnshire County Council, said: “The council wants to ensure that all children can access high-quality education, as near to their family and local community as possible. To help achieve that, we’re investing £86m in improving our special schools over the next few years.

“Our ambitious programme will mean more pupils with SEND can attend a local school rather than having to travel large distances for their education, which will be of great benefit to both the children and their families.

“Despite the pandemic, we’re making excellent progress. Following completed improvements at schools in Boston, Spalding and Grantham, works are currently underway in Louth, Spilsby and Bourne. I’m delighted that we’re now in a position to start the improvements at The Priory School as well.”

The mystery continues over the death of a Spalding man, and it is believed he may have been dead for around two weeks before his body was found.

David Labron’s body was found on the sofa of his flat in Gaunt Close in Spalding on June 7, this year.

Police forced entry to the property after concerns for his welfare were raised, according to Spalding Guardian.

Following an investigation on June 11, an inquest opened into the 69-year-old’s death on July 23 this year.

The inquest hearing was later held at the Myle Cross Centre on Macaulay Drive in Lincoln on Wednesday, October 6 before HM Assistant Coroner Paul Cooper.

The medical cause of death could not be established and was listed as as unascertained in the record of inquest.

The record states: “The deceased was found dead (where he had been some time) at home on Gaunt Street in Spalding.

“There were no suspicious circumstances and the pathologist was unable to ascertain a cause of death be it natural or unnatural.”

The hearing was told that he was a heavy smoker who liked an alcoholic drink at home, but was not known to be unhealthy.

The coroner heard evidence from the police that there was nothing present to indicate how David had died.

Evidence from a community care worker said that Mr Labron, who had learning difficulties, lived alone and was an independent man who rarely made requests for support.

A Lincolnshire woman has invented a device that could help people control symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, after living with the condition herself for 18 years.

Sandra Mcdonough, 58, from Spalding, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s on the eve of her 40th birthday, and it has caused her body to gradually deteriorate over the years.

She has had to stop driving, and was resigned to using a wheelchair, but just as it looked as though all hope was lost, she came up with a glimmer of hope in the form of a concept device.

Sandra McDonough is the inventor of Eye Guide MC, a device you wear on your ear that will tackle Parkinson’s symptoms. | Photo: Eye Guide MC

Sandra invented something called Eye Guide MC in 2015, which is a discreet device that hooks over the ear. It is calibrated to sit in the perfectly in the person’s peripheral vision and can send a new message to the brain.

These messages to the brain overwrite signals which affect balance, speech and movement, as well as the tremors people with Parkinson’s suffer with.

The device can also improve the mood of the person wearing it and allow them to feel more confident, providing a visual sensory stimulus to help with walking.

The device is not a miracle cure for the condition, but instead a way to improve quality of life for those who suffer, and Eye Guide MC has been given a medical device accreditation as well as a CE Mark, meaning it conforms with health standards and practices.

Sandra with her husband Chris, who is a part of the Eye Guide MC team. | Photo: Eye Guide MC

She said: “I had the idea for the Eye Guide MC when I was at my lowest. In 2015 my Parkinson’s took a complete nose-dive and it was winning the takeover bid.

“No medication was making me feel any better and I was suffering with my mental health. Everything felt impossible.

“That’s when I was introduced to someone who is now not only a lifelong friend, but also a key member of the Eye Guide MC team – Parkinson’s Nurse Specialist Ann Saunders, who helped turn my life around.

“One day I was fiddling with a little knitting marker which my niece had given me and placed it on my glasses. I immediately noticed an effect on my Hemispatial neglect, a condition which meant I had no awareness of the world on the left side of my body.

“The idea came to me like a lightning bolt. It was beautifully simple and mind-blowingly clear. If I could alter messages to my brain by simply placing something in my peripheral vision, I could make a device that could help to control Parkinson’s symptoms.”

Two years of development and testing later, as well as securing funding grants from Parkinson’s UK and the University of Lincoln’s Productivity Programme, Eye Guide MC is ready to help thousands of people.

The business has expanded to the point of opening their first clinic in Long Sutton, which is run by a team of seven including a Parkinson’s nurse specialist.

After starting to wear the device in 2018, Sandra said she noticed a “dramatic” change in her quality of life, as her symptoms were greatly reduced and she no longer required walking aids.

Sandra added: “I’ve not cured Parkinson’s, but I’ve created a way to control it. When I take the Eye Guide MC off my tremors return with immediate effect – but that’s ok, I can live with my condition now. This is me, the lady with Parkinson’s who invented a way of regaining independence.”

Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world. Around 145,000 people in the UK currently have the disease and as of yet there is still no cure.

To find out more about the incredible device and Sandra’s company, visit the Eye Guide MC website.

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