Pupils' artwork miraculously saved from devastating Selsey school fire

Artwork that Selsey Academy pupils spent the summer creating miraculously remained in tact despite the devastating fire that engulfed the school last month.

Tuesday, 13th September 2016, 6:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:02 pm
Sesley artwork at The Bridge

As part of a project, pupils had painted inspirational quotations on the walls of The Bridge – a Youth Support Centre on the grounds of the school.

When the fire broke out on August 21, fireman doused the building to prevent it catching alight – saving the work the young people had done.

Kim Long, a Selsey resident training to be an art therapist, helped the school children create the masterpieces.

Sesley Academy artwork

She said: “The pupils did a wonderful job, choosing quotations to inspire and share with other young people, creating their stencils, putting them on the walls and then painting them over the holiday.

“Sadly they were not allowed on site for the last week after the fire but the work they have done still stands and is testament to their creativity and passion – and the fire brigades determination to save the building.”

It was revealed a few days later that the likely cause of the fire was ‘accidental ignition’ by workmen carrying out maintenance on the roof.

The Bridge chairman, Mike Nicholls said: “The art project, which was one of several run by the Bridge for young people in Selsey over the summer holidays, was wonderful.

Kim helping Jack with painting

“It was lovely to see how their chosen quotations matched their characters and personalities as we got to know them better as the weeks went on.”

Donna, an emotional wellbeing practitioner for The Bridge said: “I am thoroughly looking forward to co-running a similar project with Kim in the future.

“This summer art programme was a pilot scheme and its success is evidence in how the power of creativity can support with building confidence and self-esteem in young people.

“Kim and I are so very proud of what the students have achieved this summer.” 

Sesley Academy artwork

The Bridge is a charity attached to the Academy that offers support to all young people in the local area.

Sesley Academy is unsure at this stage when it will be fully accessible to the students again.