We are excited to announce that Inspire! has now moved into new premises at 34-38 Dalston Lane, opening up new space and facilities for the team and the growing number of students attending our Inspired Directions School.
It’s been a long road to transform the building from a tired shell that had not been refurbished since the ‘90s into a welcoming space for our students and open plan office for our staff.
We can’t thank our dedicated volunteers enough for taking part in the refurbishment. All of our volunteers were self-employed small business owners who gave up their time to make the project possible. One, Marius, dedicated four full weeks of his time to fit 300m2 of flooring and complete a raft of carpentry jobs; father and son kitchen fitters, Darren and Craig, fitted out two kitchens and our art therapy room. Other volunteers included our Project Manager’s mother Joyce, aged 78, who cleaned, prepared or painted every wall surface in the building, along with a team of Year 11 students from Knole Academy in Sevenoaks who created some beautiful wall art for the school. A team from IHS Markit did a great job painting our resource room and sensory therapy room.
The project would equally not have been possible without the support of Selco Builders Warehouse, Electric Centre, and Howdens Joinery, all of whom either donated or heavily discounted all the building materials. Our corporate partners, UBS, kindly donated two lorry loads of furniture, which has provided our hard-working staff with a comfortable and stylish office space. In addition our Project Manager, Julia, used all her powers of persuasion to get discounts and free products for the school and office. The most popular bargain has to be the bean-to-cup coffee machine!
Since outgrowing our former premises, the new building not only offers increased space but greater potential for creative learning. The students have got involved in making it their own, helping to decorate and designing a mural, and new facilities include separate art and music production rooms. This will enable us to place a strong emphasis on developing creative expression and confidence, in addition to helping the students achieve their core qualifications.
A last few finishing touches are underway, including fitting out our sensory therapy room, which is designed to help de-escalate confrontational situations and reduce stress in our most vulnerable young people.
We will be hosting a celebratory Opening Event this summer to thank all of our amazing supporters and volunteers. Full details of the event are to follow so keep an eye out for further information soon.