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Following the closure of its autonomous special needs school, Delamere Charitable Trust remains dedicated to supporting the education of the same client group, Jewish children with special educational needs.
 
GERSHON ROTHMAN AWARDS
 
In 2016, we announced an exciting new £105K fund in honour of the memory of Gershon Rothman, a major Delamere benefactor.  Greater Manchester based Jewish schools and organisations with interests and skills in supporting children with learning disabilities were invited to submit project bids for amounts from £5K up to £20K.  Sixteen bids were received and then passed to an independent judging panel who, in February 2017, assessed them against strict criteria and selected seven imaginative worthwhile projects which we are now supporting out of the Gershon Rothman Awards fund.
 
Manchester Mesivta School has been funded to build a new Special Educational Needs Centre while Manchester Jewish Girls School will use theirn award to equip a special SEN Resource room.  Beis Malka Girls School is using their grant to fund a two year programme which will greatly improve the literacy of struggling pupils and North Cheshire Jewish Primary School is employing a part time specialist literacy teacher for their pupils with specific learning difficulties. Torah Tots and T'mimei Lev School are investing in the latest interactive ipad tables for their SEN pupils while Special Spirits, an after school club for SEN children will be extending their services to develop their childrens' skills in woodwork, art, baking, music and football while also improving their social skills.  Finally, OYY Lubavitch Boys School is establishing a much needed central support service for specialist workers in special educational needs and disabilities for a number of Jewish schools.
 
In this way, Delamere is encouraging valuable new services which will enable our client group in the Manchester Jewish community to overcome the serious barriers to their learning and to help them acquire the vital life skills which other children take for granted.
 
CLUB TIKVA

We are major supporters of Club Tikva, an after school club which is assisting a growing number of children struggling with social and communication difficulties in mainstream school.  There, in a sympathetic and enjoyable after school club environment, experienced professional staff help these young people acquire the vital life skills they need to interact more effectively and constructively with their families and other children.  With increasing support from Delamere, they have now grown to operate four classses catering for over forty boys and girls.  The results being produced by Club Tikva are excellent and parents have been expressing how positively Club Tikva has helped their children to develop.
 
JSENSE

We joined with other interested communal organisations to establish this new specialist educational service provider which started operating in autumn 2013.  JSENSE includes representatives of leading Manchester Jewish communal organisations, and professional education, care and health specialists with experience in dealing with learning disabilities.
 
Following careful research of the specific issues in the local Jewish community in relation to young people with special educational needs, JSENSE developed imaginative ideas for the new services which are needed.  One idea was to provide staff in Manchester's Jewish schools with high quality, accredited, Jewish orientated training, specially designed to develop their skills in working with pupils with learning disabilities and there is now a steady programmeof training underway.   The  staff have thereby been motivated to adapt and greatly improve how they deal with children with special learning needs, using their new skills and understanding and now include them in normal mixed ability classes. 
 
JSENSE has also been providing a valuable service to Jewish school Head Teachers and SEN Coordinators by briefing them on the latest Special Educational Needs Policies and legislation and their expertise in auditing schools' performance is experiencing steadily increasing demand.  JSENSE is also planning to introduce further new SEN support services in the future. Delamere provided JSENSE’s initial start-up funding and continues to provide ongoing core funding.
 
OTHER PROJECTS
 
When we heard that children with special needs found the flicker and hum from old style lighting at Heaton Park Synagogue particularly distressing, we funded new LED lighting which immediately reduced anxiety levels and made the synagogue much more accessible.
 
We have recently approved the funding of a special new exam sitting centre for young people whose learning disabilities prevent them from taking exams in a normal school environment.
 
We are also currently looking for new projects which fill gaps in local service provision cost effectively, particularly those involving cooperation among the many organisations working with our Special Needs client group.
 

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