Leighton Park School’s pandemic efforts recognised in award ceremony

Leighton Park School has offered a range of initiatives aimed at helping others during the covid pandemic

STAFF and pupils at Leighton Park School have been recognised for their outreach work and community service in the pandemic.

The Shinfield Road school won the Outstanding Local Community Involvement award, from the Independent Schools’ Association.

Headteacher Matthew Judd, congratulated colleague Natasha Coccia, assistant head for her outreach work leading the project.

“I offer my heartfelt congratulations to her and all colleagues involved in this area,” he said. “We are hugely proud of what has been achieved.”

Last Easter, under the direction of the head of design and technology, the school founded a hub partnership producing PPE for frontline key workers.

Bringing together 18 partner schools, three commercial organisations and one university, the Safer Vision hub partnership created and dispatched more than 39,000 face shields at a time of national crisis.

They raised £28,000 for materials through GoFundMe, helping roughly 500 organisations that were desperate for vital PPE.

Face shields were given out for free to hospitals, hospices, care homes, GP surgeries, pharmacies, adult and elderly care services, schools and councils.

Gareth Williams, chief operating officer for Choice Care Homes, who received 1,600 shields from Safer Vision, said: “We all make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give. The school should be very proud of that.”

Students and their families supported weekly donations of items for groups struggling in the pandemic, including hygiene products for Launchpad Reading, food parcels for Whitley Community Development Association (CDA), care packages for Age UK Reading and books and board games for ABC Reading.

In June, head of boys’ games, Tim Green, ran an on-campus marathon raising more than £3,000 for the school’s partner charity, Whitley CDA.

Trisha Bennett, community development coordinator for Whitley CDA, said working with Leighton Park has been amazing.

“They have wrapped their arms around us and found a range of creative ways to support our work with the Whitley community,” she said.

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