Former heavyweight champion Frank Bruno MBE brought a smile to students faces today as he officially opened a new playground at the school dedicated to young people with autistic spectrum disorder.
Leighton Buzzard’s local celebrity boxer visited MacIntyre Wingrave School, of Leighton Road, Wingrave, to open its new activity playground that aims to help develop students’ physical and mental skills.
Speaking to the LBO today, Frank said: “Having lived fairly near the school it’s great to be able to visit and meet the student and staff of MacIntyre Wingrave School.
“Physical exercise is very important for the wellbeing of us all and I am sure that this valuable new facility will give the students a lot of pleasure.”
The school has been fundraising for the much-needed ‘trim trail’, which is a series of activities that acts as an important aid in teaching students about managing risk whilst having fun.
The equipment also encourages students to be active while at the same time improving their individual social skills, which is something that young people with autistic spectrum disorder often need to develop.
Frank Bruno, who battles with Bipolar Disorder and recently gave a candid interview about his own personal experience in the mental heath system, added: “It was really exciting to be able to come here today and meet the kids.
“It’s really special that I was able to come along and help out today and I hope I can come back again and bring a smile to their face.”
Head of Education, Audrey Pantelis, said: “Frank lives near us and wanted to know a bit more about the school, which coincided with the opening of the playground so we asked him to come along.
“It was very exciting and a break from the norm. The students may not know exactly who he is, but know he is a special visitor.
“So that has caused excitement and because our students need a routine, we needed to prepare them for it in good time but they have risen to the challenge and loved it.
“Of course Frank is so into fitness and the need for regular exercise and understands the benefit of that, as do we, so it has been absolutely brilliant.”
MacIntyre Wingrave School is part of MacIntyre Charity, which provides learning, support and care for more than 900 children and adults with learning disabilities at more than 120 services across the UK.