Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education has been located in the City for over 190 years. It is a bi-lingual day and residential school which welcomes deaf children and young people, aged between 5 and 25 from across the UK.
Its aim is to give students the confidence, communication skills, education, and support network they need to achieve their goals.
The success of the academy has meant that it’s current facilities no longer meet the needs of its Students and Staff. It has therefore been decided to move to a new purpose built Campus in Exmouth. The new buildings will include a range of up to date facilities to cater for a diverse range of needs including autism, epilepsy, physical and multi-sensory disabilities.
It is hoped that construction of the new buildings will be completed later this year.
The work of the Academy first came to the attention of Devonshire Freemasons when their Leader, Provincial Grand Master Ian Kingsbury, heard a presentation at The House of Lords by Steve Morton, Director of Development for the academy.
Inspired by what he had heard, Ian returned to Devonshire determined to help those affected by this very
difficult sensory disability.
To this end, he approached the Devonshire Freemasons Benevolent Fund Committee who agreed an immediate donation of £5,000.
Following this initial donation in October 2018, an approach was made to the Freemasons’ central charity the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) who have agreed further funding of £28,380 to equip a Multi-Sensory Immersive Space within the new centre in Exmouth, bringing the total donated to £33,380.
Recently Devonshire Freemasons’ Chief Fundraiser, Reuben Ayres, accompanied by Clive Eden, visited the Academy. Here they met up again with Steve Morton and Appeals Manager Sarah Shaw and presented them with a certificate confirming the £28,380 which is going to support the wonderful work undertaken by the Academy.
When presenting the certificate, Reuben Ayres said:
‘Young people all need us to be there to help them grow for the future, none more so than those with a lack of hearing who are denied the normal things that we take so much for granted in the world we live in.’Reuben Ayres, Provincial Charity Steward, Province of Devonshire
Explaining how the donation would assist in the Academy’s work, Steve Morton said:
‘We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Devonshire and now the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Without the support of generous organisations like these we wouldn’t be able to change the lives of some of the most vulnerable Deaf young people in UK.
Our work helps young people, who have often been isolated in the past, to access education and opportunities for development which ultimately will enable them to have more independent lives.
The immersive room is there to help those facing the greatest challenges to benefit from our work and Ian, Reuben and their fellow Freemasons have played a large part in making that a reality.’Steve Morton, Director of Development.