Two pupils with juvenile arthritis were celebrating the start of the new term at their North Belfast school last week after it completed the installation of two chair lifts and an elevator.

Mercy Primary pupils Rachel McCrea and Roisin McKenna both suffer from the condition which can severely limit their mobility, particularly in the winter months.

The new facilities at the Crumlin Road school, which also include exterior ramps, make the school fully accessible for limited mobility pupils, staff and parents.

Now with the installation of the new facilities, the disabled or those with impaired mobility can access all areas of the school with ease.

Rachel, who has also had a kidney transplant, said the new facilities are “out of this world”.

“I love using the electric lift,” said Rachel, who won a bronze medal in tug-o-war at this summer’s Transplant Games in Belfast.

Stella Hunt, teacher and Additional Needs Co-ordinator at the school, said the new facilities are a great boost to the school.

“The school was built in the 1970s and is not very accessible, there are a lot of different levels and small staircases,” she said.

“The new facilities mean that the school is now fully accessible to children with disabilities, but also to parents and grandparents who have mobility problems. It will also be a great help to any child who may be on crutches.”