Reading Charity of the Year donation in action

Bayer visited High Close School in Wokingham to see the difference our donation has made.


The Bayer Team visiting High Close School


In 2021 Bayer’s employees in Reading voted Barnardo’s as their Charity of the Year. Barnardo’s then nominated a project at High Close School in Wokingham to receive the donation of €5,000. Fast forward to 2022 and Antonio Payano, CEO, UK & Ireland, (pictured second right) and Fiona Campbell, Head of Public Affairs & Sustainability, (pictured second left) went to see how the donation has helped pupils and teachers.


High Close is a Barnardo’s school, focusing on students who require intensive support to continue in education.


Ukraine - High Cross school display The team has created a safe, caring, and creative environment to support pupils and help build back their trust. Bayer’s donation funded the refurbishment of an old boarding house unit to convert it into a support facility called “the Bridge”, providing a safe haven for students.


The centre opened in October 2021 and aims to keep more pupils in full time education, giving them the best possible life chances. At the Bridge, a specialist teacher helps students to develop techniques to regulate their behaviour or manage anxiety. The facility also provides an alternative location for teaching if the normal classroom environment is too challenging.


It was clear just how much the team cared that all their pupils reach their full potential and how much the Bridge means to everyone in making this happen.


The school offers a rich range of activities, including talent shows, stage performances and, during Bayer’s visit, a skills week. Pupils are also encouraged to find their own passions to stimulate their learning in areas such as gardening, cooking and fixing bicycles & engines.


High Close School is an inspirational place. Their focus on education for all and its transformative effect on children’s wellbeing and long-term prospects align with Bayer’s mission to use its donations to deliver long-term impacts and to contribute to creating thriving futures. We hope to welcome their students to our own science education facility, Baylab, soon.