Bolehall Co-op customers’ generosity to give school-leavers a taste of independence

Kind-hearted shoppers at a Tamworth Co-op convenience store have donated their dividends to send pupils on an outward-bound adventure before they go to secondary school.

The £500 raised by customers at the Bolehall Co-op will fund a two-day trip in the summer for 24 Ankermoor Primary Academy pupils aged 10 to 11.

The youngsters will stay overnight at the Whitemoor Lakes activity centre, near Lichfield, where they will go canoeing and climbing. They will also try their hand at archery and test themselves on high ropes during their stay in the summer.

Jayne Cutforth, manager of Bolehall Co-op, presents Community Dividend Fund cheque to Simon Russell, head of Ankermoor Primary Academy, during assembly

Jayne Cutforth, manager of Bolehall Co-op, presents the Community Dividend Fund cheque to Simon Russell, head of Ankermoor Primary Academy, at the assembly.

Jayne Cutforth, manager of the Tamworth Co-op run store, presented a cheque for the money raised at the school’s morning assembly. She said she was delighted it would enable the children to experience the great outdoors after finishing their primary education.

“Every year we appeal to customers to give their rewards to a good cause on our doorstep as part of Tamworth Co-op’s Community Dividend Fund scheme. We then ask them to submit their nominations for who should receive the support and this time they chose Ankermoor Primary. It’s a cause close to my heart particularly as my seven-year-old son Reece attends the school and I went to school in Tamworth with the head teacher.”

Tamworth Co-op business support manager Julie Gasper, who also attended the presentation, explained to the children how the scheme works.

Over the past ten years the Community Dividend Fund has handed out around £100,000 to deserving community causes. Each of Tamworth Co-op’s 11 food stores, along with its main department store and supermarket, supports a different cause each year.

Simon Russell, head of Ankermoor Primary Academy, said: “We’re really appreciative of what the Co-op and the customers have done for us. With shrinking school budgets, it’s so important for us to get donations like this. A parent provided match-funding for the trip. It will help the children with their team-building skills, encourage them to be independent and give them the best possible experience before they leave to go to secondary school.”