• Gateacre at the heart of the community

Gateacre at the heart of the community

When staff found out that Gateacre School was due to close as part of the UK Lockdown, they jumped into action to make sure that their school and local community were as supported as possible.

Staff and pupils created 150 ‘Hello Bundles’, which included a book, teabags, biscuits and a card from one of their students to older members of the community.

Lisa Mitchell, community co-ordinator at Gateacre School, said: “Our students loved taking part, many of them writing about their experience in school, what they like to read and their thoughts about the current climate.

“Some students also took the opportunity to tell the older person about their thoughts having just found out that their GCSE and A-level exams had been cancelled. They found this therapeutic and we do know that the recipients of those cards had such sympathy and understanding, which was lovely to hear.

“We also bagged up our school stock of sanitary products and distributed to our students, having found out that this was one of the items that people were panic buying, and the local shops had ran out. We even had parents coming to school to collect them! We have since passed our remaining stock to our local food bank to help ease the burden on our local families.

“On the final day, as the school was closing, we emptied our school kitchen of any produce that we had and offered it to any of our students that needed it, knowing that some families were already self-isolating. We also had family members come to school to collect items for elderly neighbours, which was really lovely to see. Staff even used their free time to deliver work and food to students already stuck at home.

“Since closure we have now redirected our food deliveries to the local hub schools which are currently serving the key worker children.”

The school’s BIG Little Library was also contacted by councillors from across the city to help provide books to residents via over 20 Food Banks and children centres they support.

Lisa said: “We were also honoured to be able to donate our stock of 160 pairs of safety goggles and 700 pairs of gloves from our science department to Broadgreen Hospital to help with the pandemic. It was lovely to find out that some of our students’ parents and ex-students actually work there, and great to know they would be gratefully received”.

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