Shoppers’ ‘divi’ money helps keep pupils safe during Covid

Money raised by Tamworth Co-op supermarket shoppers is helping to keep schoolchildren in the town safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Customers at the Church Street store raised £906 by donating the dividends earned on their purchases to Moorgate Primary Academy.

The cash has been used to buy three sinks which the 290 pupils, aged four to 11, use to wash their hands before entering the building to avoid the risk of spreading the virus.

The outdoor sinks are on wheels which are rolled to the school gate at the start of the day and then moved into the playgrounds so that the youngsters can clean their hands again.

Each sink has a large container beneath it which keeps the water hot for up to seven hours and is operated by a pump action.

Pupils with portable sink donated by Tamworth Co-op shoppers

Pupils demonstrate the use of one of the new outdoor sinks, as head teacher Jon Williams accepts a cheque for £906 from Julie Gasper, Tamworth’ Co-op’s business support manager.

Head teacher Jon Williams said the donation from Tamworth Co-op’s Community Dividend Fund initiative could not have come at a better time.

“We’re hugely grateful to the shoppers for helping us to improve the Covid safeness of the school. Without this funding we wouldn’t have been able to provide these sinks. We now know that Covid is going to be with us for some time, so this is a long-term solution for us.

“The pupils have responded brilliantly to being asked to wash their hands. We’ve got one sink in each of our three playgrounds, so that they can use it if they need to when they’re playing – or if they eat a piece of fruit, they can wash their hands straight away. It gives the parents confidence too that we are doing all we can to keep their children safe.”

Mr Williams described the Community Dividend Fund as an excellent scheme, which provided an outlet for showing togetherness as a town. “We’re proud and thankful to live in Tamworth and this is a way of showing that gratitude,” he said.

A one-way system and staggered start and end times are among the other measures taken by the primary school to protect pupils from infection.

Tamworth Co-op chief executive Julian Coles says it is heartening to know that supermarket customers’ dividends have contributed towards ensuring local pupils are safe in school.

“This is the final of 13 Community Dividend Fund cheques we’ve presented from the 2019/20 financial year. It’s been an extraordinary year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but despite this our work in the community has continued uninterrupted.

“The fund hands out thousands of pounds each year to deserving groups, with each of Tamworth Co-op’s stores supporting a separate organisation on their doorstep.

“I would like to thank all our shoppers for again so generously donating their dividends to a wide variety of excellent causes in the areas we trade in.”