Every Little Helps With Cheriton Paint-In
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With all the bad publicity that Tesco has received lately (that the supermarket had deliberately delayed payments to suppliers to boost profits), it’s good to be able to report on a side to this retail giant that people seldom hear about.
A few months back a group of Year 4 schoolchildren who attend Cheriton Primary School near Alresford wrote to several large stores in the area to ask if they could help with the much-needed redecoration of their school that has sadly not had a fresh lick of paint for several years because of cut-backs.
The sad news is that the response to the letters was not as forthcoming as was hoped. But the great news is that Ruth Kirby, Community Champion at Winchester’s Tesco Extra store at Winnall was more than happy to help and turned up at Cheriton armed with boxes full of rolls, crisps and other tasty offerings to feed the army of parents, governors and friends who came along to tackle the project over the summer holidays. Readers may recall that we covered this story last year.
Cheriton Paint-In – Phase 2
That was Phase 1 but there was still much work to be done and, not content with feeding the masses, Ruth and her colleagues at Tescos offered their help on a grand scale with Phase 2 which took place last weekend at the school (the weather was awful outside so nobody seemed to mind): “I got a letter from two lovely boys at the school who told me that they had a lovely school but it was a Victorian building and a bit tatty – could we please help?”
Never has the school seen such a concentrated effort over two days to transform a very tired classroom and other communal areas in much need of a lick of paint.
Volunteers from Tesco Winchester – and numerous other stores in the area – pitched up, rolled up their sleeves, donned masks and overalls and set to sanding, scraping, filling and painting. Over one weekend no less than thirty Tesco volunteers from all departments, including several senior managers turned up and got stuck in.
Among them was Stores Director Andy Cruttenden who has direct responsibility for Tesco Extra stores along the south coast and was the one who gave the green light to the project: “For us, it’s a day out of our business but to a small school it means an awful lot and we’re delighted to do it”. Les Young, line manager at Tesco Winchester and no stranger to community projects (having helped build an orphanage in Poland) was the ‘foreman of works’ and worked his socks off.
Local store Wickes also donated nearly £200 worth of paint and materials to the project.
Andrew Goldsworthy is the headteacher at Cheriton Primary School, and says the help came as a much-needed boost: “Due to budget constraints, without the hard work of community-minded people like the army of Tesco volunteers who gave up their weekend to help us, projects like this could end up forever on the back burner. We owe them a huge thank-you for their time and dedication”.
Every little really does help, it seems. And the children’s reaction to their new classroom? “Really bright and smart! Thank-you!”.
Reporting by David Cradduck
Main Image: Les Young ‘ Proud To Be Supporting’