October 22nd, 2016

Couple fund-raising to expand school for bullied children

Couple fund-raising to expand school for bullied children Couple fund-raising to expand school for bullied children
Viv outside the school in Hatton.
Updated: 7:27 am, Sep 13, 2015

A RETIRED couple who teach bullied children in their home are still tirelessly fund-raising to expand their school.

Fred and Viv Morgan, aged 94 and 72 respectively, opened Northleigh House in Hatton nine years ago and took over running it as a small hotel.

But after hearing increasingly common stories about children committing suicide due to bullying, the husband and wife team decided to transform their ten-bedroom home into a school for victims and after being featured in The Observer, their story hit the headlines across the country.

And Northleigh is so in demand, they are planning to expand and turn the outdoor barn into a sports and drama facility for the school’s some 20 students.

Viv – who recently won a Pride of Warwick Award in recognition of her hard work – said: “Nearly half of the children who come or have been to Northleigh have tried to commit suicide due to bullying. It’s really different here because we put such an emphasis on social and emotional care and have more staff to help work around the specialist needs of the children.

“We are nearly at full capacity now, and as children leave there is a need for more to come here.

“Many children were unable to attend school and have even committed suicide due to the relentless pressure of bullies, who due to social media can follow their victims day and night.

“It is so lovely to see them gain confidence here and move on with the chance of a happy life. Every day here is very busy and enjoyable.”

Converting the barn is set to cost around £40,000. And for the school, which relies mainly on donations, it is a struggle to raise the extra cash.

In a bid to raise the extra money, school patron, comedian Don MacLean is holding a fund-raising event from 7.45pm on September 19 at the Royal Spa Centre in Leamington.

He will run through his illustrious career with the audience, showing clips from his TV shows including Crackerjack and the Black and White Minstrel Show.

Tickets cost £15. Call the school on 01926 485252 or email clare.crawford@northleigh.co.uk to book tickets or find out more.