Polesworth Co-op customers raise cash for school library

A Polesworth school is using a cash injection of £831 to buy new books and furniture for its library.

Shoppers at the village Co-op convenience store raised the money by opting to donate the  dividends earned on their purchases to Nethersole Church of England Academy.

Headteacher Jo Alexander says the windfall has come just at the right time as funds are scarce and the library was in need of a major refresh.

“The library is currently an underused space that requires new books and furniture. The vision is to make it a fully working library whilst also being a learning space for groups.

Polesworth Co-op manager presenting Community Dividend Fund cheque to headteacher with pupils holding books and sitting around a circular table

Polesworth Co-op store manager Karl Vyse is pictured at the cheque presentation with Jo Alexander, head teacher of Nethersole Church of England Academy, and some of the pupils who are benefiting from the Community Dividend Fund.

“We have not been able to hold our usual fundraising events due to visitors on site being limited. Also, with some families struggling financially due to furlough and self-isolating this has had a big impact on what we feel we can ask from parents.”

The grant has come from Tamworth Co-operative Society’s Community Dividend Fund, which this year sees each of its branches paired with a different school to support. More than £10,000 is being handed out in total, with payments made earlier than usual because of the pressure on education budgets.

Mrs Alexander added: “The Community Dividend Fund scheme is very beneficial and we really value donations like this. They help support initiatives that we would otherwise struggle to complete – especially now due to the situation with Covid. The support we have received from the local community is much appreciated by everyone at the school.”

The original Nethersole School opened in 1638 and since then there has always been a school closely associated with nearby Polesworth Abbey. Together with the nursery section, it currently caters for 326 children aged between two and 11.

Karl Vyse, a former pupil and manager of Tamworth Co-op’s Polesworth convenience store, handed over a cheque for the money raised.

He said: “It is always special to see my old school, but particularly so when I can present them with a cheque which will help all the pupils after such a difficult time.

“Nethersole is one of the most historic schools for miles around and has been so important to the village. Hopefully the children will soon be able to forget about the pandemic as things return to normal.”