Tamworth Co-op cash funding outdoor spaces for pupils to relax after stress of pandemic

A school near Tamworth is creating calming outdoor spaces for the wellbeing of its pupils, many of whom have been affected by the Covid pandemic.

Whittington Primary School is promoting mindfulness by creating quieter spaces in the playground, an outdoor library and a nature area where children can relax and unwind.

The projects are being financed by a grant from Tamworth Co-op’s Community Dividend Fund. Nearly £700 was raised by shoppers at the Whittington Co-op food store generously donating the dividends earned on their purchases to the school.

Whittington Co-op manager presents cheque to headteacher with pupils cheering

Pupils at Whittingham Primary school join headteacher Nichola Leeson (centre) and Sheila Villers (right), manager of the Tamworth Co-op food store in Whittington, to celebrate the £697 windfall.

Each year Tamworth Co-op distributes around £10,000 to schools, charities and other organisations, with each of its stores adopting a separate good cause on its doorstep. This year the Co-op board opted to give all the donations to schools as the education sector has been hit hard by the pandemic.

Headteacher Nichola Leeson says that pupils have inevitably developed higher levels of anxiety during the crisis.

“School budgets are very restrictive, and the Community Dividend Fund will allow us to purchase resources which we may otherwise not be able to do.

“On behalf of the pupils at Whittington Primary School, we would like to thank the Tamworth Co-op and its customers for this kind and significant donation.

“As we make our way out of a global pandemic, we are extremely grateful to be able to use this donation to support the mental health and wellbeing of all of our pupils, sharing with them the important benefits of the outdoors and nature.”

Whittington Primary School was founded in 1968 and currently has 320 pupils aged 3 to 11.

“As a school at the heart of the community, we work closely with other local groups, particularly those who support environmental issues and fair trade,” added Ms Leeson.

“All of our pupils will benefit from this donation from the nursery up to Year 6.”

Sheila Villers, manager of Tamworth Co-op’s Whittington food store, who presented the cheque for £697 to the school, was delighted to see it being put to such good use.

“The last year or so has been difficult for all of us, but it must be especially frightening and difficult for children. It’s wonderful to see the money being used to help them de-stress.”