Students from the Percy Hedley Foundation design first inclusive Show Home with local housebuilder

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The Percy Hedley Foundation, which is a charity dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities, has partnered with Barratt Homes and Show Business Interiors to create the first inclusive Show Home, which has now come to life at the new Old Durham Gate development.

This activity comes as part of a much wider partnership between Percy Hedley and Barratt Homes, which will see the students gain experience working in multiple business environments to increase their confidence, improve their employability skills and find their own passions. All with the aim of ultimately leading to employment.

Sitting within the newly launched Fallow Show Home on the development, students from the Percy Hedley Foundation took part in a collaborative workshop with the housebuilder and its interior designers to design, create and bring the new Show Home to life.

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The workshop, which took place at the Foundation’s Percy Hedley School, gave the students an exciting new project to work on, in which they chose specific details to feature within the show home. This includes geometric wall panelling, carefully selected paint colours and even artwork created by the talented students themselves. Other factors that have been weaved into the design include sensory items and lighting fixtures, which have been strategically placed to enhance the overall experience within the space.

Students from the Percy Hedley Foundation design first inclusive Show Home with Barratt HomesStudents from the Percy Hedley Foundation design first inclusive Show Home with Barratt Homes
Students from the Percy Hedley Foundation design first inclusive Show Home with Barratt Homes

The students were invited to visit the brand new show home, where they unveiled the sensory area within. They also received a tour and the opportunity to ask plenty of questions to the Barratt Homes team throughout.

The students were also recently invited to Barratt Homes North East’s Headquarters in Newcastle, where they audited the office space from an accessibility perspective. Feedback from the students’ audit is now being addressed directly by the housebuilder as it works to improve the accessibility of its office space. Barratt Homes’ relationship with the Percy Hedley Foundation follows a previous £25,000 donation made by the housebuilder, also in conjunction with Hellens Group. Since the donation, Barratt Homes has kept in close contact with the charity and is continuously looking for ways in which it can support the students.

Kerry Robinson, Project Manager at Percy Hedley, comments: “It has been brilliant to work with Barratt Homes and Show Business Interiors on this exciting project. We have seen what a hugely positive impact that this experience has had on the confidence of our students, which has come as a result of being exposed to an entirely new world of work.

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“The new show home looks absolutely fantastic, and it was so wonderful for the students to be invited to the development to see all of their hard work and creativity be brought to life. We would like to thank Barratt Homes and Show Business Interiors for giving us this opportunity, and we hope that visitors of the show home get as much pleasure out of it as our students did creating it!”

First inclusive Show Home with Barratt Homes North EastFirst inclusive Show Home with Barratt Homes North East
First inclusive Show Home with Barratt Homes North East

Carl Sobolewski, Managing Director of Barratt Homes North East, comments: “Our partnership with Percy Hedley is one that sits very close to our hearts, with the launch of the show home being the first of hopefully many activities to come. It has been incredible to see the students’ creativity and excitement during the show home project, and it is especially rewarding to be able to provide an experience within the workplace that is completely new for their development. This is very much a two-way street, as there is so much that we are learning from them too!

“The show home looks truly brilliant, and I would like to extend a huge thank you to all of the talented students and the incredible staff at Percy Hedley who have been involved with this activity, as we look forward to continuing with this partnership further.”

Jackie Summerfield, Founder of Show Business Interiors, explains: “What sets this project apart is the level of involvement the children had in crafting their room. From planning the room's layout to selecting fabrics, paint colours and styling items, the children were at the forefront of every decision.

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“This approach not only allowed the room to truly reflect their unique personalities but also resonated with each child's individuality, giving our design team at Show Business Interiors, the team at Barratt Homes and the pupils at Percy Hedley an educational edge for designing homes like these in the future.”

The launch of the inclusive show home falls in line with many properties on Old Durham Gate being built to M4(2) regulations. Designed to offer a home for life, M4(2) requirements ensure that the property can be adapted to suit all stages of life. This includes wider door frames for accessibility access, larger downstairs bathrooms that can easily be transformed into a wetroom and step-free access into the home.

For more information on Old Durham Gate, please visit

For more information on Percy Hedley Foundation, or to make a donation to its charity, please visit:

For more information on Show Business Interiors, please visit:

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