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Swiss Cottage school staff set for London to Brighton charity cycle ride for Pigs4Kids

Tom Casson (left) and Sean Bowen will take part in the bike ride. Picture: Dieter Perry. Tom Casson (left) and Sean Bowen will take part in the bike ride. Picture: Dieter Perry.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
3:00 PM

Staff at a Swiss Cottage special school will cycle from London to Brighton to raise money to support its vital work.

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A team of four from Swiss Cottage School Development and Research Centre will take on the 56-mile challenge on July 5 as part of the Pigs4Kids fundraising campaign, backed by the Ham&High.

The team comprises life skills teacher Tom Casson and teaching assistants Elliot Snape, Tim Elliston and Sean Bowen.

Mr Casson, 25, who moved from Birmingham to work at the school, said: “Pigs4Kids helps our work, especially within my role doing life skills. I’ve just come back from an exchange visit with a school in Sweden.

“There is incredible work that goes on across the school to give students opportunities they wouldn’t get elsewhere.”

The cycle team is aiming to raise £1,000 in donations for its efforts with every penny going to the Pigs4Kids fundraising total.

In September 2012, the Ham&High launched the Pigs4Kids campaign asking readers to help raise £60,000 to support the school in Avenue Road, Swiss Cottage.

The £24million world-leading school for children with special needs opened its doors to pupils in October 2012 after months of frustrating building delays.

Mr Casson, of Market Place, Hampstead Garden Suburb, said the school has already changed the lives of many of the children who have come through its doors.

He said: “We have students who previously would rarely be able to stay in a school for a long time. There was a student who hadn’t been in school for three years and he joined when I first joined and is still there now, that’s a success.

“We have got in-house work experience which is a big deal for some students who were not able to communicate with others. When you think about the progress in a matter of years, it’s huge.”

In his role, Mr Casson helps children of all ages – some with the most severe forms of autism – to develop essential day-to-day life skills including tooth-brushing and independent dressing.

“That’s what we want for our students, for them to be as independent as possible,” he said. “It’s just fantastic to see the results.”

To support the cycle challenge, visit justgiving.com/teams/teamswisscottage. To donate directly to Pigs4Kids call the Ham&High on 020 7433 0000 or visit pigs4kids.org

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