Children with autism welcomed the Archbishop of Wales to their new state-of-the-art school centre on Monday 20th Feb.
Dr Barry Morgan dedicated and blessed the £4.8m Marion Centre, built in the grounds of the Bishop of Llandaff Church in Wales High School in Cardiff, at its official opening.
The two-storey building will accommodate up to 42 secondary school aged pupils who have an autism spectrum condition. It has seven classrooms, two specialist rooms and a spacious hall which converts to a gym.
Following a short service of music and prayer, the Archbishop and other guests joined the children in launching purple helium balloons, tagged with their names to see which would travel the furthest.
The centre, which received its first pupils in September, is named after the late Marion Richards, who was a governor at the Bishop of Llandaff school and was passionate about special needs education.
Praising the new building, the Archbishop said, “This is an imaginative and well thought out building which meets the needs of these children who deserve the best. It is named after someone who knew the importance of treating all people equally. I am sure the pupils here will flourish and reach their potential.”
Headteacher of Bishop of Llandaff school, Revd Chris Hollowood, said, “The ways in which we have integrated the pupils into our school was the dream and we have done it. The way that pupils help to support the Marion Centre is transformational. But above all the pupils here have given us so much - they have helped us understand their condition and shown us that the world looks very different to some people. It is a privilege to stand alongside them as they struggle to comprehend what is around them. Unless we pause and try to see what they see we will fail to understand the world. We will not understand young people.
“So today is a celebration of all of this but for me it is a thank you to the young people who have given us, the school, the community more than they will ever realise.”
For more information, please contact:
Archbishop's Media Officer / Swyddog y Cyfryngau i'r Archesgob
Tel: 02920 348208; mobile: 07 91 91 587 94
39 Cathedral Rd, Cardiff / 39 Heol y Gadeirlan, Caerdydd