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Crawley College student hand carves sign for local landmark

A historic site in Crawley has welcomed the arrival of a beautiful new sign – hand carved by a talented Crawley College student.



Ben David and Zuzana Peppett

The beautifully carved oak sign – commissioned by the Crawley Museum Society and produced by Ben David – will go on display at the Ifield Water Mill.

Ben, who is studying joinery at the college, spent two days working on the sign to ensure it was produced to a professional standard.

Trevor Francis, lecturer in carpentry & joinery, was impressed with how quickly Ben picked up the art of hand carving.

He said:
“Ben has produced a fantastic piece of work at his first attempt of hand carving lettering.

“He practiced on some pine and did so well that I quickly let him start on oak, which is harder. After less than three letters, I gave him the piece of oak for the sign. He then set all the lettering out and started carving.

“It has taken him about two days to complete and finish, with inserting holes for the fixings and then applying a preservative oil to help protect the timber from the elements.

“I have to say the quality of his work on this job was easily of a commercial standard. He should be really proud.”

The Crawley Museum Society, a local charity which runs two historic venues for Crawley Borough Council – Crawley Museum at ‘The Tree’ and Ifield Watermill in Rusper Road.

Visitors can observe the operational machinery and learn all about the history of the mill and the simple mechanical devices used to make work in the Mill easier.

Zuzana Peppett, treasurer of the Crawley Museum Society, said:
“Ben’s work and the connection with Crawley College will be commemorated within the exhibition and the society is keen to build a further relationship with the college.

“Ben’s sign will now be installed on the historic mill building.”


Extra mental health support in Crawley schools to be developed

West Sussex has been successful in a bid to develop extra mental health support in schools across two pilot areas.



New specialist Mental Health Support Teams will work with children in over 20 schools in a joint partnership between West Sussex County Council, West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Groups and the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Following an analysis of need, the one-year pilot will be rolled out in north-west Crawley and in Bognor Regis and Felpham.

The specialist teams will:

• Provide one-to-one support to children with mild to moderate mental health issues, building on the support already available

• Work alongside school counsellors, nurses and designated mental health leads and introduce or develop their whole school or college approach 

• Liaise with external specialist services to help students with more severe needs to get the right support

Richard Burrett, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, said:

“One in nine young people aged five to 15 are believed to have a mental health condition and we know early intervention is crucial. So I’m delighted that West Sussex school children will benefit from this exciting new pilot and I look forward to seeing it progress.”

Dr Patience Okorie, Clinical Director Crawley CCG, said:

“This is an exciting development and has come at a time when we have seen increasing need for emotional and mental wellbeing support amongst young people. We recognise the need for early intervention and support and had found there was a huge gap for this.

“The new pilot service is a great opportunity to ensure young people get the help they need at the right time and the right place.”

Alison Wallis, Clinical Director for Children and Young People’s Services at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We are so pleased that we were successful in our bid for this new service and that we will be able to improve and build on the early and preventative support that we currently provide for children and young people in West Sussex.

“Young people spend a large proportion of their time at school, so it really does make sense for there to be teams based in schools who are specially trained in how to support young people if they raise concerns about their mental health or emotional wellbeing. 

“I am really looking forward to seeing the positive impact that this pilot service will make.”  

The Mental Health Support Teams will now be developed and should be up and running in West Sussex by September 2020.  

It is part of NHS England’s ambition to roll out the specialist support nationally to reach up to a quarter of the country’s young people by 2022-23.

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