School pets corner a fitting tribute to Crawley Lion Craig

Crawley Lions open a pets corner at Manor Green College in honour of Lion Craig Macintosh, who died in 2014. Pictured with some of the pupils son Russell Macintosh, Lion Graham Mahy, Craig's daughter Sue Keshavarz and headteacher Grahame Robson - picture submitted
Crawley Lions open a pets corner at Manor Green College in honour of Lion Craig Macintosh, who died in 2014. Pictured with some of the pupils son Russell Macintosh, Lion Graham Mahy, Craig's daughter Sue Keshavarz and headteacher Grahame Robson - picture submitted

Crawley Lions have opened a new pets’ corner at Manor Green College in honour of one of their former long-standing members.

Craig Macintosh had been a Crawley Lion for 48 years before he died last year.

He held most offices in the club, included the prestigious role of chairman of the Crawley Carnival committee.

Now, £1,000 given in donations at his funeral has made it possible to give him a lasting memorial at Manor Green College. It has enabled the school a buy a wheelchair-accessible bench, vegetable planter and lighting transforming the school’s pets’ corner.

Lion Gary Davies said it would be a fitting tribute to Craig because he first initiated the Lions’ links with Manor Green.

He said: “It’s absolutely great. If Craig had still been with us he would be delighted.

“He was a big supporter of the Manor Green School and College and would most certainly want a memorial like we are doing to honour his name.

“He was a great community man and did a terrific amount for Crawley and beyond.”

“The pets’ corner is a very special place for the youngsters and they take it in turns in looking after the small furry animals.”

Craig’s son Russell said: “With my dad, Manor Green was a project close to his heart and it seems quite fitting that we did something there. It’s great.”

Manor Green is a secondary school for students between the ages of 11 and 19 who experience a wide range of learning difficulties. The new area will transform the education of the pupils there.

Head teacher Grahame Robson said: “The college is very grateful to the Lions and to Craig Macintosh’s family for their support of the project, especially since in these austere times it is increasingly difficult to find the money for these important projects from with school budgets.

“The money they have offered makes the whole area much more accessible .

“The lighting that they have put in means we can use it throughout the year. The seating and the other changes means it’s an area youngsters can use much more easily.

“It’s an important development for our youngsters.

“The whole responsibility in working with animals is a fundamental development area for them.”

Senior learning support assistant Jo Shelley, who manages the pets’ centre, added: “We have purchased a wheelchair-accessible bench which obviously means all our students are able to access the area and help with feeding the pets and having a cuddle.

“As many of our students have mobility difficulties, this is a very important addition to the area. The biggest benefit is that this is a therapeutic environment for the students.”

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