Brackley School gets award for service to others during the Covid-19 pandemic

A Brackley school has been honoured with an award to celebrate their contributions to the community during the Covid-19 pandemic

Tuesday, 26th January 2021, 2:59 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th January 2021, 3:02 pm
Pupils from Winchester House School make PPE for NHS staff to use across the regional (photo from Winchester House School)

Winchester House School in Brackley has been awarded a 'Rose of Northamptonshire Award’ by Northamptonshire County Council.

The award was created to recognise and celebrate the contributions of those who live or work in Northamptonshire to the county’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The award comes from an ‘Unsung Heroes of Northamptonshire’ initiative launched jointly by The Lord-Lieutenant of Northamptonshire, The High Sheriff of Northamptonshire and Northamptonshire County Council. The initiative encouraged members of the public to nominate individuals or organisations whom they thought deserved recognition.

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The school launched the ‘Flowers for Friends’ initiative where families gathered flowers from their gardens, brought them to school where they were donated to local care homes and doctors’ surgeries. (photo from Winchester House School)

The presentation will be made virtually by Theresa Grant, chief executive of NCC, James Saunders Watson, Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire and Paul Parsons, the High Sheriff of Northamptonshire.

Emma McGowan, the community relations manager for Winchester House School, said: "Whilst we merely played our part in supporting our many friends, local businesses, clubs and societies, we were delighted to accept the award. What has come to the forefront of the pandemic, is the vital importance of supporting those within the community. The phrase ‘in it together’ has never been truer and the extraordinary pooled efforts’ of all community members has been humbling.

Winchester House continues to place community values at the heart of its ethos abiding by the school’s motto ‘Non Nobis Solum’, not for ourselves alone.

"Children and staff are regularly involved with a variety of community based activities and projects as well as the creation of new initiatives designed to meet specific needs. Never before has community involvement been more important than during the pandemic."

An NHS staff member wearing PPE made by volunteers with Winchester House School ( photo from Winchester House School)

Emma outlined some of the schemes the school ran to help the community since the start of the lockdown. Some of them include:

- The school launched the ‘Flowers for Friends’ initiative where families gathered spring flowers from their gardens, brought them into school where they were then donated to local care homes, doctors’ surgeries and assisted living residences.

- During the height of PPE shortages volunteers from the schools made and distributed more than 700 face shields to 25 hospitals, care homes, surgeries and charities.

- The school launched a 'pen pal' scheme with more than 35 children writing regularly to people at local area care homes during the lockdown.

Winchester House school launched a 'pen pal' scheme with more than 35 children writing regularly to people at local area care homes during the lockdowns. (photo from Winchester House School)

- Sheena Croston, the manager of Kingsley Healthcare’s new Brackley Care Home, invited children and staff to name the home’s new dementia, residential and nursing wings.

Sixteen children and staff entered the competition, with the owners choosing to use suggested names for three of the units. The Nursing Wing was named the ‘Delia Frost Suite’ as suggested by Mrs Gray (Delia Frost was the midwife at the Brackley Cottage Hospital for many years) and the two Dementia suites were called the ‘Rainbow Suite’ as suggested by Jonah Watkins (2020) and Classics teacher Mr Roberts and ‘McGowan Suite’ as suggested by Mr Keating. Kingsley Healthcare kindly gave all children who entered a very smart rainbow baseball cap.

- In December the school joined forces with the community-led ‘Brackley Elves’ campaign to put together Christmas hampers for local care homes and assisted living residences. The school delivered 13 large hampers to Brackley Care Home and Juniper House.