Percy Hedley School Students help create the first inclusive Show Home room in partnership with Barratt Homes.

In partnership with local house builder Barratt Homes, students from Percy Hedley School have been able to see their designs come to life in a show home at Old Durham Gate in Durham.

From design concepts to seeing it in real life, a group of Percy Hedley School students have been fortunate enough to create the first inclusive room in one of Barratt Homes Show Homes at Old Durham Gate in Durham.  

This once in a lifetime opportunity came about due to the wider partnership between the Percy Hedley Foundation and Barratt Homes, which aims to see students gain experience in working in various business environments, improve their confidence and employability skills, and most importantly empower them to live the best lives possible. 

It all began in 2023, when interior designers Show Business Interiors visited Percy Hedley School to give students a crash course on all things interior design. They helped the students put their ideas together, picking out preferred furniture choices, materials, textures, and colour schemes. Show Business Interiors then created blueprints based on the design choices of the students. After these were created, the designs were presented to the Barratt Homes team at their offices in Gateshead.  

Jackie Summerfield, Founder of Show Business Interiors, had this to say about the project; “From planning the room’s layout to selecting fabrics, paint colours and styling items, the children were at the forefront of every decision.  
“This approach not only allowed the room to truly reflect their unique personalities but also resonated with each child’s individuality, giving our design team at Show Business Interiors, the team at Barratt Homes and the pupils at Percy Hedley an educational edge for designing homes like these in the future.” 

Students then saw their designs go beyond the page when they visited the newly launched Fallow Show Home at Old Durham Gate. The result is a cozy snug room, designed as a chill out space on the ground floor of the house. The room is full of aspects that the students specifically requested, including geometric wall panelling, sensory items, fuzzy soft textures for pillows and rugs, light features placed strategically, and even artwork created by the talented students themselves. As for accessibility, the door frames have been widened, and everything within the room can be accessed from a wheelchair.  

Students were also given a tour of the rest of the Fallow Show Home and had the opportunity to ask questions directly from the leading figures of Barratt Homes, including the very builders that constructed the house.  

Jack, a student from Percy Hedley School, commented on the room, saying, “We can definitely say that Barratt has put a lot of time and consideration into this. [It is great to see] what our work will look like in the real world, Barratt Homes has done a great job. And we extend our gratitude and thanks to Barratt Homes for giving us this amazing opportunity.” 


Kerry Robinson, the Project Manager at Percy Hedley, explains: “It has been brilliant to work with Barratt Homes and Show Business Interiors on this exciting project. We have seen what a hugely positive impact that this experience has had on the confidence of our students, which has come as a result of being exposed to an entirely new world of work. The new Show Home looks absolutely fantastic, and it was so wonderful for the students to be invited to the development to see all their hard work and creativity be brought to life.” 


Carl Sobolewski, Managing Director of Barratt Homes North East, comments: “Our partnership with Percy Hedley is one that sits very close to our hearts, with the launch of the Show Home being the first of hopefully many activities to come. It has been incredible to see the students’ creativity and excitement during the Show Home project, and it is especially rewarding to be able to provide an experience within the workplace that is completely new for their development. This is very much a two-way street, as there is so much that we are learning from them too!” 


Like Carl, the Percy Hedley Foundation look forward to seeing how this partnership with Barratt Homes progresses throughout the future! Watch the video below to see a visual representation of the partnership from design concept to finished product.

If you or a business partner are interested in finding out more information on how to partner with the Percy Hedley Foundation, you can do so below: