An area of Bridgend which currently ranks 39th out of the 50 of deprived areas in the UK has received a funding boost which has enabled the development of two vital community facilities.
Renewable energy company, Pennant Walters, has provided a cash injection of £15,000 to Abercerdin Primary School which has allowed the development of a community hub, housing a library and other resources for local families, and a 90 metre animal area which will allow the school to operate as a Farm School.
Pennant Walters provided the funding as part of its policy of ensuring local communities benefit from its investments
With the nearest free library located in Tonyrefail, Headteacher Helen Gentle was determined to ensure that the pupils of Abercerdin and their families had easier access to a wealth of resources to enrich their learning.
Ms Gentle explains:
“We are a school that is situated in an economically deprived area and to not have easy access to free books is senseless. In order to boost the community prospects we need to raise the level of resources available.
“We approached Pennant Walters with the ideas of the community hub and the farmland area and were absolutely delighted to learn that we had been successful in our funding application.”
Following receipt of the funding, Abercerdin Primary set about making links with a local carpenter who has spent time transforming the assembly and dining hall into a community hub. Now benefitting from bespoke shelving around the perimeter, the hub now houses a wealth of books for pupils and the entire community, as well as the latest technology to improve learning.
The farm area, which is operated on a 90 metre stretch of land, has benefitted from a fence that will allow more people to work simultaneously in a safe environment. Hosting a number of animals including chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs, the funding has allowed Abercerdin Primary to operate as a Farm School.
“Having this farm area will improve pupil and community awareness and allow access and participation in land-based education which has proven particularly beneficial for non-traditional or disadvantaged students.
“Operating as a Farm School will help us deliver a range of school and community activity and increase the access and participation in land-based higher education.
“We are absolutely thrilled that Pennant Walters has allowed these community projects to come to fruition. Everyone in the local community, pupils and families alike, are on-board and can see the huge benefits that will be derived from having such resources on our doorstep.
“We would like to thank Pennant Walters for allowing us to be as inclusive as possible in developing the community hub and farmland and we hope that the local community will join us in realising their benefits.”