A HUGE community effort saw a new course introduced at a Bournemouth school which caters for children with emotional, social and/or mental health needs.

Many students at Tregonwell Academy in Petersfield Road have been excluded from mainstream education so teacher Dan Shoebridge is tasked with designing a school curriculum which re-engages them with learning.

He decided to introduce a new BTEC Level 1 course in Construction but had only an old mobile classroom with no tables, chairs or equipment.

Dan told the Daily Echo: "I explained to the boys that as it was a construction course, if they wanted tables, chairs, work benches etc then they would have to build them.

"Due to school budgets being as they are we had very little money to buy tools and the materials that we needed for the course."

Dan then put a message on the Facebook Community Group SOBO, aimed at people who live and work in Southbourne, and was inundated with offers of help.

"The response I received was overwhelming" he said. "We had people dropping off work benches, saws, drills, screws and other equipment for the boys to use.

"The boys' confidence grew and we progressed from making small boxes from old pallets to more advanced construction."

Dan said Travis Perkins provided materials and supply teaching agency Teaching Personnel made a donation which allowed the school to buy bricklaying equipment.

As a result the boys built a pergola over the school pond and built a barbecue.

"Thanks to the success of the course this year we will continue to offer it in September and offer more students the chance to work towards this qualification.

"Without the support from the community we would not have been able to give the boys as many opportunities and I am so grateful."