Wood End Co-op cash to boost pupils’ activity and mental health

A North Warwickshire school is using a cash windfall to give its pupils a chance to have more fun and put the worries of the pandemic behind them.

Joanne Smith, associate head teacher at Wood End Primary School, says nearly £800 will be spent on playground equipment to help children increase their physical activity and improve their mental health.

“We know that they have struggled to be active during lockdown which has had a negative impact on their stamina and mental health,” she said.

Wood End Co-op manager presents Community Dividend Fund cheque to head with three pupils cheering

Julie-Ann Kester (left) presents the Community Dividend Fund cheque to Joanne Smith, associate head teacher at Wood End Primary School, in front of delighted pupils.

“The purchase of quality playground equipment will encourage the children to be more active. All pupils in Years 1 to 6 will benefit from the resources, so approximately 130 children aged 5-11 will be able to enjoy the new equipment.”

The equipment was funded by shoppers at Tamworth Co-operative Society’s food store in Wood End donating the dividends earned on their purchases to the school.

They raised a total of £776 as part of the Society’s Community Dividend Fund scheme which distributes around £10,000 annually to a wide range of good causes – with each of its outlets supporting a different organisation.

This year all the beneficiaries have been schools as the Tamworth Co-op board was concerned about the effects of the pandemic on education budgets.

Mrs Smith was full of praise for the scheme and said she was extremely grateful to the Tamworth Co-op and its big-hearted customers.

“Without charitable donations we would not be able to afford equipment like this. We would like to say thank you for this generous donation which will have a huge impact on many children.”

Wood End Primary School was opened in 1912 but the original building was destroyed by a devastating fire in 1998. A new building emerged from the ashes and the school went on to celebrate its centenary in 2012.

Julie-Ann Kester, manager of the Wood End convenience store, had the honour of handing over the money.

“This is a great cause, because the pandemic has made life very difficult for young children,” she said.

“The new playground equipment will really help to energise them and help take their minds off what has been happening. It’s wonderful that our customers have helped provide such a powerful gift to the school.”