Kettering school and park win improvement cash

Grafton Street Park, Kettering
Grafton Street Park, Kettering

Youngsters at a Kettering school are celebrating after they were awarded tens of thousands of pounds for improvements to their school and a neighbouring park.

St Andrew’s Primary School has been handed a grant of £30,000 by Sports England and the nearby Grafton Street Park will be improved to the tune of £49,000 thanks to a grant from the recycling scheme WREN.

The scheme began when county councillor Mick Scrimshaw teamed up with Corby-based organisation Inspiring Neighbourhoods and gave them funding for the the Little Ambassadors Project, where pupils at the school would be involved in developing ideas for improvements and helping to write the application forms.

The Little Ambassadors pupils consulted their schoolmates and deputy headteacher Sarah Beach applied to Sports England. They also worked closely with Dave Lane at Kettering Council to identify and plan for improvements to Grafton Street Park before a successful application to WREN.

Brenda Easton, from Inspiring Neighbourhoods, said: “The children actually took part in physically writing sections of the application form, a highly unusual approach, but we got all the funding. It was they and their work that really secured this money for the park.

“We always consult with schools near parks for work we do within those parks, but this Little Ambassadors consultation is certainly the best we’ve ever had.

“Inspiring Neighbourhoods Little Ambassador aims to enable children to build life skills through involvement in the life of the school and wider community. They gain knowledge and skills that equip them to be active participants in society.”

The money will be officially handed to the school at a ceremony next month.

Cllr Mick Scrimshaw, who secured the funding so the Little Ambassadors project could get off the ground, said: “I am absolutely thrilled to bits.

“From my point of view, and my motivation for supporting the work, was about trying to get the children to take ownership of their local area and community and to understand that they can get involved with decisions that affect them and make a difference to their neighbourhood. I was massively impressed with the enthusiasm they showed and the effort they put in.”