Co-op volunteers pave way for new wildlife area at school

Some of the volunteers from the Lincolnshire Co-op who helped to create the new wildlife area. (PHOTO BY: John Aroin Photography)
Some of the volunteers from the Lincolnshire Co-op who helped to create the new wildlife area. (PHOTO BY: John Aroin Photography)

Youngsters with learning difficulties at a school in Gainsborough will soon have a new wildlife area to enjoy thanks to the work of community-conscious volunteers.

Colleagues at the Lincolnshire Co-op got together to remove weeds and brambles, and recover the occasional, long-lost children’s toy, from an unused part of the grounds at Warren Wood Specialist Academy.

The 13-strong team came from the Co-op’s travel branch, its post office and its funeral firm, along with its food store in Haxey and its ‘people and performance’ and community teams at head office based in Lincoln.

Now the school plans to transform the cleared space into an area where the students can learn and discover more about nature.

The Middlefield Lane academy’s principal, Claire Cumberlidge, said: “The academy would like to say a very big thankyou to all the Lincolnshire Co-op staff community volunteers for their hard work in clearing this piece of land.”

One of the volunteers involved was Kelly Housham, a consultant from the Co-op’s travel branch on Heaton Street in Gainsborough. She said: “I like to do things for the community.

“I live in the area, so I thought why not make it an even better place? It’s nice to think that I will drive past the school in future and thinK I helped to do that! This kind of work is something I’d like to do again.”

The 2,800 staff employed by the Lincolnshire Co-op are all given the chance to spend 16 hours per year doing paid volunteering within their local communities.

Often, they are tasks that they wouldn’t do in their usual day-to-day roles, such as painting or gardening.

They also try to work with organisations and charities that have received grants and donations to ensure that these groups get hands-on support as well as money.

Among the other volunteers who took part in the Warren Wood Specialist Academy project were assistant manager Jane Harrison and counter clerks Becky Evans and Karen Thompson from the Co-op’s post office on Heaton Street at Gainsborough.

Alongside Kelly from the travel branch was assistant manager Rhianne Mathers, while funeral firm staff members Lee Dimmock and Chris Wood got their hands dirty too.

The team leader at Haxey food store, Kerry Thompson, also contributed, as did Karen Doherty and Martha Kitchen, who work at the firm’s head office.