PROM is always a big moment for teenagers - but it was an even more special occasion for a pupil at one Stratton school.

Hannah enjoyed a spectacular send-off to this milestone event which represents her reaching the end of secondary education.

Family and friends who have supported the 16-year-old during her high school years waved her off from the family home when she was picked up by Swindon Carer's Centre volunteer Steve Coleman.

Steve granted her wish of arriving at prom at De Vere Cotswold Water Park Hotel on the back of a motorbike.

The charity helps Hannah's parents Maria and Hipolito care for their daughter, who has Down's syndrome and other medical needs.

Maria said: “We were so proud to mark Hannah’s journey so far by helping her choose her prom dress, getting her ready for her big night and waving her on her way."

Hannah's extra needs meant they had to think carefully when deciding which school she could attend. They decided on Kingsdown after staff visited her primary school and were confident they could support her in mainstream education.

Maria said: "From year seven, she moved into a totally new environment – new staff, new friends.

"But the school supported her so well, she sailed through this transition. She enjoyed five glorious years at Kingsdown.

“She always has a smile on her face going to school, as it has a warm, welcoming environment.

"The staff went above and beyond to guide her in her learning, giving her confidence to attempt all tasks in class and participate actively. Her new friends have been so caring and courteous to her.”

Her parents, and brothers Hans and Hew, credited her determination to achieve and the outstanding support she has been given along the way with helping her grow and thrive at school

Hannah furthered her love for dance by performing on stage for school Christmas concerts and with Swindon Dance too – a passion which she will continue through weekly dance lessons.

Having access to an alternative PE curriculum, catch-up programmes to boost learning, cooking lessons, a speech and language therapist, and the school’s Haven club at break and lunchtimes made a real difference to her time in secondary education.

During Covid-19 the family felt a wave of support from staff via personal videos, written messages and phone calls which ensured that Hannah continued to feel part of online classes.

Maria added: “We would like to thank all the staff for making Hannah’s time a wonderfully productive experience. They truly helped her develop the skills, coordination and confidence needed to perform in front of a live audience.”

Hannah is looking forward to starting at New College to build on her creative and artistic skills.

Writing to Hannah in a personal note, headteacher Emma Leigh-Bennett said: “Hannah has been a tremendous role-model and inspiration to everyone at Kingsdown. She leaves us to enter an exciting new chapter at New College. She’ll be an out and out success, of that I have no doubt.”