Students from Brighton Aldridge Community Academy (BACA) joined Foundation chairman Sir Rod Aldridge to welcome a very unusual visitor to the school yesterday morning. The giant gastropod, ‘Geronimo’, was there to welcome the Aldridge Foundation into the Snailspace campaign as sponsors of the Learners Programme. The Learners Programme, entitled ‘The Junior Snailway’ will see 50 smaller snails, decorated by young people from schools and youth groups across the city, take their place alongside 45 giant snails to form a unique public art trail, in Brighton this autumn, to raise money for Martlets Hospice.
Sir Rod, explained why he wanted to get involved in the project:
“My primary reason for getting involved in Snailspace is to honour the memory of my mother, Doris Aldridge. She passed away at the age of 101 last August and had raised money for Martlets throughout her life. Backing this life-affirming event, that brings the community together, young and old alike, is the perfect way to continue her legacy.
The Foundation and the Snailspace Learners Programme share some important objectives, encouraging young people to be active citizens in the local community. Aldridge schools put creativity at the heart of study; it is fundamental to our approach to learning. Sponsoring the Snailspace campaign is a great way to support creativity in the city, as well as encouraging young people to explore important themes such as nature, the environment and mental health.”
The Snailspace Learners Programme has almost 50 schools and youth groups signed up, which is double the number who took part in the previous Snowdogs event. All ages are represented from toddlers to sixth formers; almost 15,000 children across the city will be involved.
Speaking about the partnership with the Aldridge Foundation, Imelda Glackin, CEO Martlets Hospice said: “Doris Aldridge was such a staunch supporter of Martlets. She supported the patients and families we work with for many years, and even invited us to join her for her centenary celebrations in 2016. This is a wonderfully fitting tribute to her memory. It is fantastic to have the Aldridge Foundation as sponsors of the Learners Programme as they have such an important educational presence in the city and our campaign’s objectives fit so well with their approach to learning.
We are also thrilled that so many schools have signed up to be part of the event. It is amazing that despite the many pressures facing schools that they have been so keen to embrace this event and raise money to enable us to care for local people when they need it. We’d like to say a huge thank you too to all of the teachers who work so hard to give their pupils access to these unique experiences.”
Charlie Langhorne, Wild in Art Director, added: “We’re passionate about bringing people together through our events and giving them a voice through art, and Sir Rod’s vision for the Aldridge Foundation to create inspiring and enterprising education strikes a chord with us and the Snailspace Learners Programme. It’s fantastic that with the Foundation’s support the programme’s impact on Brighton & Hove’s children and young people, and the city itself, will be even greater.”
The Snailspace art event, by Martlets Hospice, in partnership with Wild in Art, will hit the streets of Brighton & Hove in September 2018 and is expected to attract thousands of visitors.
Our picture shows Students from Brighton Aldridge Community Academy and Elm Grove Primary School (white T shirts) with Sir Rod and Imelda Glackin, CEO Martlets. ©Vervate Photography