Hino donates to special needs school

A new dedicated sensory room for students at Bates Drive School will receive a range of sensory equipment thanks to a partnership with Hino Australia and Schools Plus.

Situated in Sydney’s Sutherland Shire, Bates Drive School enrols 63 students from Kindergarten to Year 12 who experience significant challenges in managing their emotions, have physical or intellectual disabilities, autism or mental health challenges.

“The new room gives us more variety of opportunity when using students’ senses to help them deal with past trauma,” said David Toogood, Bates Drive School Principal.

“It will enable us to do more of our vital one-on-one work with students, and support us in helping families with access to therapists and other resources.”

The first incarnation of the Schools Plus project took place four years ago with
Hino-affiliated company Toyota funding a number of projects at various schools.

This included improvements to the learning and playground environments at Bates Drive School such as alternate seating and sensory tools.

The school is classified as a centre of expertise in the Sydney Metropolitan region in sensory strategies.

“Working with business donors like Toyota and Hino gives us extra options in supporting our students,” said Toogood.

“The previous project greatly benefitted our students, so we’re excited to see how the next phase of this project progresses,” he said.

Since opening its headquarters in 1995 at Caringbah, Hino Australia has had a strong focus within the Sutherland Shire, with many of its current staff living in the area.

“We are pleased to support not only Bates Drive School but also an additional three schools including Minerva School, Cook School and Dunlea School as part of our Schools Plus partnership,” said Sam Suda, Hino Australia President and CEO.

“This is an opportunity to make a difference within the local community and support these students in reaching their full potential,” he said.

Rosemary Conn, CEO of Schools Plus is keen to see other donors realise the benefits of the school and business partnership.

“The partnership with Toyota and now Hino is a fabulous example of the impact business donors can have on the education of children facing disadvantage,” she said.

“Schools Plus exists to help ensure every child has the opportunity to succeed at school, and we are delighted that Toyota and Hino support us in making that mission a reality,” concluded Conn.

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