In autumn 2008, the Sorrell Foundation was asked by the School Food Trust to work with two Southampton schools on the development of their new dinner halls. The programme, based on joinedupdesignforschools, helped pupils from Cherbourg Primary School and Applemore Technology College create a brief for their architects, SHH. By spring 2009, new dinner halls had been created at both schools.
The pupil client team from Cherbourg Primary School was frustrated with their cluttered, multipurpose dinner hall. SHH brightened the interior space with vibrant graphic motifs created in collaboration with pupils, who asked for images of the outdoors. Brightly coloured furniture is stored on movable trolleys so the space can be cleared easily, and a recycled shipping container was placed directly outside the dinner hall to house play and gym equipment, and provide an alternative learning space in the fresh air.
The dinner hall at Applemore Technology College was made up of a series of interconnected spaces, and was unpopular with pupils. SHH created a single, double-height space with an industrial, urban feel and distinctive green and yellow colour scheme. Large windows create a link between the interior and the outdoor space, where a shipping container and moulded concrete stools provide shelter and seating. Inside, an organised seating plan, divided into zoned areas, gives pupils the choice of formal or informal dining.
The Sorrell Foundation has supported Mencap’s annual photographic competition Snap, since it was conceived in 2002 by Frances Sorrell, who was then a trustee of Mencap.
Each year, Mencap invites people with a learning disability to tell a story about their lives with a photograph and accompanying words. A panel of judges, led by Frances Sorrell, choose a shortlist of finalists, who are presented with prizes at an awards ceremony. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London exhibited the winning work in the early years of Snap, and for the last two years winners have been shown at the Proud Camden gallery in London. This year there were 92 Snap winners, including 15 short film prize-winners.
Some of the winning images and stories from this year’s Snap competition are on display in an exhibition currently touring major cities in the UK.
To look at this year's Snap competition winners, see www.mencap.org.uk/snap