A plaque has been unveiled at The Juniper Centre to mark the involvement of Exmouth Rotary in creating and equipping the centre.

The Juniper Centre opened on the Marpool Primary School site last July as a resource base for children who need specialist education provision. It is now used by children across the local area, helping them to learn in a comfortable environment that is suited to their educational and emotional needs.

Exmouth Rotary has supported the project from the start, working with Marpool Primary’s headteacher Rachel Pattison who was determined to set up a specialist learning centre for local children. In the early stages of the plan the Rotary ring-fenced a donation towards the costs of the bespoke learning areas, sensory room, classrooms, kitchen and computer area.

The plaque was unveiled on Thursday, February 8 by Betty Ford, wife of the late Rod Ford who was honorary treasurer of what was then the Exmouth & District Rotary Club.

Exmouth Rotary has had a close association with Marpool Primary since early 2014 when four Year Six girls asked for the club’s advice on how to raise funds for a local worthy cause. This led to a RotaKids club being set up, which grew to more than 50 members and raised nearly £12,000 for local and international causes, as well as giving hands-on help to community projects.

Throughout this time, Rotarians were impressed with the care and encouragement given to vulnerable children at Marpool Primary, supporting their particular needs and enabling them to blossom.

Brian Drake, an honorary member of the Exmouth Rotary, attended the opening of the Juniper Centre last summer and described it as ‘a joyous day’. Following the unveiling of the plaque he said: On a personal note, I have been involved in Rotary for 35 years and without doubt witnessing the achievements of the RotaKids club and the involvement in supporting the building of the Juniper Centre have been the highlights of my time in Rotary.”