Housing staff spruce up pre-school
Published by Laura Beckett for Halton Housing Trust in Communities and also in Education, Housing, Universal Credit
Staff from Halton Housing Trust and Apollo
A pre-school in Widnes is getting a makeover thanks to Halton Housing Trust’s Beyond the Garden Gate programme and Apollo.
The interior of the much loved St Bede’s Community Pre-School is being transformed by Trust joiners and Apollo workmen, after they fixed wooden boarding to the walls to display pupil’s artwork. Radiators will also be boxed in and walls given a fresh lick of paint.
Marjorie Constantine has volunteered at the school for 20 years: “We knew that the school needed updating as it was looking a bit tired, but we didn’t know where to start. We were stuck because we aren’t plumbers or joiners. The school is a registered charity, run mostly by volunteers, so we didn’t have the funds to pay someone.”
“I heard about Beyond the Garden Gate and approached them to ask if they could help. I’ve seen generations of the same families use the school - it’s a fantastic community resource and it will look fantastic when it’s finished.”
Jeff Ball, joiner at the Trust, feels that it’s important to work on community projects: “What we’re trying to do, is to help people who are on low incomes to keep their jobs – their kids can come here when they are at work. The school allows the ordinary working person to stay in work. It’s very worthwhile and I’m made up to help.”
St Bede’s Community Pre-School in central Widnes has provided affordable childcare to families on low incomes for 23 years. It costs just £7 per half day session to send a child there, compared to the regional average of £20, meaning that parents can keep the majority of their wages rather than spending a large chunk on childcare.
Michele Murphy, regeneration officer from the Trust said: “Our partner contractors agree to a Transforming Lives agenda and one area of this includes donating hours to work on community projects. Apollo and ourselves felt that St Bede’s Pre School fitted the bill perfectly.”
To learn more about Beyond the Garden Gate, visit the website at www.beyondthegardengate.co.uk or contact Michele Murphy on 0151 510 5087.