Parents 'in tears' over Weston school's generous fuel fund

Bournville Primary School, in Weston. Picture: Mark Atherton

Bournville Primary School, in Weston. Picture: Mark Atherton - Credit: Archant

A Weston primary school has pledged to help families with food and fuel throughout the pandemic.

Marie Berry, headteacher at Bournville Primary School, in Selworthy Road, said her staff are aware of the pressures parents have had to face during lockdown and wanted to do something to help.

Marie Berry

Marie Berry, headteacher at Bournville Primary School, has said that it will continue to support disadvantaged children. - Credit: Bournville Primary School

Ms Berry said: "We are in an area with high levels of deprivation with a lot of families in need and we have helped any way we can - with foodbank referrals or through our fuel fund to help with bills.

"Some forget that during a lockdown teaching from home shoots up the costs of gas and electricity bills. No child should be disadvantaged so we used our great relationship with parents to identify families who need help."

Previously, the school relied on organisations such as the Salvation Army, but due to funding cuts the staff had to find other ways to help families.

The school's safeguarding officer Fiona Bennett said: "We had no organisations that we could access support for our families - in particular during lockdown when families have multiple children at home for long periods of time.

"The fund came into operation mid-December and since then we have been able to help four families of 10 children."

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One parent, who wished to remain anonymous, expressed how the vital funds offered by the school left them in tears.

They said: "I spoke to a family support team and they did everything they could to help, I cannot fault them, it was unbelievable.

"I was given £25 for both my gas and electric - it was so helpful that I was crying when on the way home. 

"It means so much knowing that they can do this - I have not known a school to be so helpful."

Bournville's headteacher confirmed that the fund will continue to be put to use while it can be.

Ms Berry said: "It takes away a burden like the other services we used to run such as the magic breakfast club. 

"We want the best for our children and will look at everything to get it - we will keep the pot going and offer support for those who need it."