Primary school pupils’ joy as construction company donates climbing frame

Youngsters at a North Yorkshire primary school are enjoying adventure-filled playtimes after a brand new climbing frame was installed on their field.

Staff and pupils at Athelstan Community Primary School in Sherburn-in-Elmet are benefiting from a brand new extension and refurbishment of their building, which was completed by Sewell Construction on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council last year.

The construction team completed the project while the school remained operational and built up a strong relationship with the whole team.

Now, as a lasting legacy for the pupils and the school, the Sewell Trail has been installed free of charge and the children are already benefiting from the timber-framed structure.

As well as having plenty of fun, they have also utilised it for a sponsored obstacle course event to raise money towards new reading books and are enjoying lunchtime exercise on the trail.

Sue Thompson, Business Manager at the school, said: “The children were so excited when we told them it was going to happen and it was being installed by Sewell.

“When they came across the field after half term and saw it, they absolutely loved it. We have used it for the sponsored event to reach our target for the reading books and the sports coaches, who run lunchtime activities, have added it into their programme.

“We have an amazing relationship with Sewell and we have missed having the team around since they finished the work. They have become a real part of our school and it’s such a lovely gesture that they’ve done this for us.

“I’m having a silver plaque made for the Sewell Trail to say it was donated by Sewell Construction, so everyone will always know where it came from.”

During their time on site, the Sewell Construction team held site safety workshops with the children, helping them to understand what is involved in the building work and asking for their thoughts on how they would like the team to behave on site.

Pupil Sophie Booth, who was born blind, was also able to follow every step of her school’s extension after the construction team’s newsletter was transcribed into Braille. When Sewell Site Manager Paul Armitage found out Sophie was blind, it was close to home, as his wife, Jules, has also lost her sight, so he enlisted her help to transcribe.

Cameron Hodgson, Management Trainee at Sewell Construction, who also worked on the extension and refurbishment, said: “Everyone at the school was incredibly supportive of what we were doing throughout the whole project, and they were very patient and understanding while work was completed, so we had a great relationship from day one.

“The Sewell Trail is in a large open space on the field close to the reception and nursery, and it’s great to hear the children are so delighted with it.

“We believe in doing the right thing by the communities we serve, our partners and the economy.

“Rather than have a corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy, or a ‘foundation’, we respond to matters that will make a positive contribution to the places we live and work, and we hope the Sewell Trail will make a difference to children for decades to come.”

Year six pupil Marcus Qareqare, 11, said: “When I first saw the new trail, I thought it was cool and would be really fun to play on. The best part of the trail is jumping over the logs. We did this as part of our sponsored event.”

Year five pupil Amelia Bentley, 9, said: “It is so good because, when our school was under construction, we didn’t have a trail that everyone could use. It’s also really good because you can compete against each other as there are two symmetrical sides. You can have lots of fun on it and lots of people like to play on it for the whole lunch time.”

To find out more about the school’s new extension and refurbishment, click here.