A school yard has gone from bland to grand thanks to volunteers led by the Kier Highways project team, working on the Highways England M6 J13-15 motorway upgrade.

The team renovated the playground at Cooper Perry Primary School in Seighford, Stafford. This renovation saw them create a stage, den area, bug hotels and even a mud kitchen.

All volunteers gave up their time and in sustainable spirit, they made use of anything on the works site that could be recycled into play equipment.

The pupils created their own cards and a scrap book to say thank you to the team for all their hard work.

Clare Bird, public liaison officer at Kier Highways, project managed the transformation and coordinated the team of trusty volunteers. She said: “What a brilliant project to be involved with. The team and I worked hard transforming the school yard using upcycled materials, making an area the children can have fun from using their imaginations on stage to cooking up a mud feast. We also built planters and bug hotels so the children can enjoy gardening.

“It was so nice to receive the cards and the teacher said the children are engaging and playing more with each other since the yard transformation which is lovely to hear.”

Cooper Perry reception class teacher, Vicky Batten, said: “The children were delighted with the transformation of their outdoor learning area. Clare and her team from Kier Highways/Smart Giving volunteered many hours to recycle and reuse equipment from their site that they no longer needed for the children to use and enjoy. Many reusable items such as tubes, cones, tyres and cable reels brought in to enhance the area and allow the children to spark their own creativity.

“We are so grateful for the time and thought that was given to create such a wonderful learning environment for the children and know that they will have many hours of enjoyment as they explore and play with it all. Thank you so much!”

Smart Giving is an offering developed by the M6 J13 – J15 motorway upgrade. It is a way for the project to offer real commitment and give practical help and support to local community projects, charities, educational establishments and vulnerable groups. The offering consists of utilising the wide range of skills, expertise, knowledge and personal commitment of the project team and supply chain to provide long-lasting benefits to community life in Staffordshire.

Highways England spokesperson, Nick Wells, said: “We know that, whilst the motorway upgrade will ultimately increase capacity and bring more reliable journeys, the works can cause disruption for people in the local communities in the meantime.

“That is why we are committed to giving something back to the community whenever we can and in this instance, I think the volunteers, who gave up their own time for the project, have surpassed themselves.

“It is wonderful to see the children enjoying themselves in their new-look playground and making use of the recycled equipment. We are delighted the team were able to help and bring such big smiles to the pupils’ faces.”


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