Stonewood Partnerships has given school pupils an early Christmas present in the shape of a donation towards new outdoor gym equipment.
The developer, which is building 44 new homes at The Tannery in the village, donated £5,000 to Holt VC Primary School after hearing how its parent support group had lost out on vital fundraising when the summer and Christmas fairs had to be cancelled.
Headteacher Jo Hodge said: “This is a wonderful gift for the children at the end of a tough year. It has been really difficult since they came back in the autumn because they have to stay in bubbles and can only play in designated areas at break.”
“Some of the classes have access to our play castle but our older children have no play equipment in their playground area. Physical activity is so important for all children,” she added.
The school had planned to buy and begin installation of a trim trail for the school grounds in 2020. In a normal situation thousands of pounds could be raised from the summer fair and Christmas fair but due to Covid these larger fundraisers have had to be cancelled.
Holt School Association member Karen Tweddle added: “We are so grateful for the money, if it hadn’t been for Stonewood’s generous donation we couldn’t have afforded to buy all the equipment yet, we’d have had to wait until at least 2021.”
Covid restrictions have made it a difficult year for the school’s 160 pupils, who have missed out on sports day, school trips and many festive highlights.
“This Christmas we are sadly unable to have Santa visit the school, perform our annual nativity or sing carols in the church. All of these are much loved long-running traditions at Holt Primary, so it has been sad for the school community,” Karen added.
“Our school council are busily choosing which equipment they would like and are very excited about it, so it is like an early Christmas present for the whole school.”
Holt School Association have had to get creative to give the children some festive treats this yuletide. They will be streaming an online panto for pupils and Santa’s visit this year will be via an appearance on Zoom.
Stonewood Partnerships managing director Sam Smart said: “We pride ourselves in being a real part of the community when we build somewhere so we were really pleased to be able to do something positive for the school. It’s a lovely set-up and parents all work incredibly hard to support the brilliant staff to make life better for the pupils and I’m glad we could help.”
The Tormarton-based builder is on track to open its show home at the site next year. Its sister company, Stonewood Builders, is converting J&T Beaven’s 250-year-old warehouses and workshops into 100 workspaces, which will be managed the neighbouring Glove Factory.