Persimmon Homes

Donation funds a new reading shed for Middlesbrough school children

12 December 2023

Pupils at a primary school in Middlesbrough will soon be able to enjoy a new space for reading following a donation from Persimmon.

St Gerard’s Primary School in Hemlington successfully applied for funding via an initiative run by the Stockton-based house builder.

Headteacher Joanne Coe this week hosted Mayor of Middlesbrough Chris Cooke, Middlesbrough Councillors and representatives from Persimmon to formally receive a cheque for £1,000.

The award has been put towards a new reading shed at the school who have introduced several initiatives to encourage reading for pleasure at home and school.

Joanne Coe, Headteacher at St Gerard’s Catholic Primary School, said: “The ability to read is a cornerstone of future success, and the addition of the new reading shed will provide even more opportunities for children to read a book and share a story with others during the school day.”

Chris Cooke, Mayor of Middlesbrough, commented: "The ethos of the Community Champions scheme is excellent as it allows Persimmon to anchor itself within the community it operates.

“Persimmon’s donation to St Gerard's Primary School will have a material positive impact on so many current and future school children."

Phillipa Storey, Exec Member for Education and Culture and Deputy Mayor of Middlesbrough Council, said: “The more help that can be provided to schools so they can provide facilities to help our children thrive is essential. I thank Persimmon for helping St Gerard’s achieve this.”

Sean Taylor, Managing Director at Persimmon Teesside, added: “It was a pleasure to visit St Gerard’s to learn more about their school and meet their dedicated group of reading ambassadors.”

“I hope their new reading shed continues to encourage the pupils to pick up books and, in turn, has a positive impact on their education and wider life.”

Lynsey Muttrie-Wijesinghe, head of English at the school submitted an application to Persimmon’s Community Champions scheme after becoming aware of the funding available.

The scheme is open to all local charities, schools and community groups looking for funding. £180,000 is available every quarter with winners receiving either £6,000, £5,000 or £1,000.

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At Persimmon we're proud to support our local communities. Our Community Champions programme was established in 2015 and has already donated more than £3 million to over 3,500 good causes across Great Britain. We also have a programme of community events taking place as part of our partnership with Team GB for the 2024 Paris Olympics, along with other great initiatives. 


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