Dosthill Co-op shoppers’ ‘divis’ fund school story-telling area

A new chapter is dawning at a Tamworth school which is planning to create a purpose-built outdoor story-telling area.

The development at Dosthill Primary Academy will be at the heart of a fresh focus on reading for pleasure. A seating area large enough to accommodate an entire class will be constructed along with a giant wooden story-telling chair which will form the centrepiece.

Headteacher Claire Keay said all 570 pupils at the school will benefit from the project as every class from reception to Year 6 will be able to use the new area.

Dosthill Co-op Community Dividend Fund cheque presentation to head teacher with pupils cheering.

Tamworth Co-op’s business support manager Julie Gasper (right) hands over a cheque for £970 to Claire Keay, headteacher at Dosthill Primary Academy, in front of a group of cheering pupils.

The school is currently creating six new classrooms to replace mobile buildings which are no longer considered fit for purpose.

“The new building which is being constructed will mean that we will be able to use our outdoor space more imaginatively and creatively,” added Mrs Keay. “It will be planned into the landscaping and development of our outdoor forest area.”

Money for the story-telling scheme has come from Tamworth Co-operative Society’s Community Dividend Fund which this year has been entirely allocated to schools. Every Tamworth Co-op food store has been partnered with a different school, with more than £10,000 being handed out. Shoppers raised the money by generously donating the dividends earned on their purchases. Dosthill Co-op customers notched up nearly £1,000 for the school which is next to the store.

Mrs Keay said everyone at the school appreciated the efforts of both the Tamworth Co-operative Society and its customers.

“Our warmest thanks to everyone who donated their dividends. It is so kind of everyone. Generations of children will enjoy the new outdoor reading area. The kindness from our local community will bring hours of joy to the children as there is nothing more special than joining together to enjoy the wonder of a class story.

“The Society’s Community Dividend Fund is such a wonderful scheme as it allows the local community to benefit greatly from the funds raised. We have wanted to establish an outdoor reading area for a while now and we will be able to achieve this thanks to this very generous funding.”

Dosthill Primary Academy was established in 1887 and is one of the oldest schools in the area.

“We are so very proud of our school history and feel privileged that our school remains at the heart of the local community,” she said.

Tamworth Co-op’s business support manager Julie Gasper, who presented the cheque, said:

“It’s wonderful to see the money going on an activity which will bring so much enjoyment to children for years to come.”