Children at Whittlefield Primary School were delighted to get a first look inside their new school library when it was officially opened by the Mayor of Burnley; who is also a former pupil of the school!
VEKA worked with regional radio station 2BR to promote the ‘VEKA Community Challenge’, where local projects could be nominated for a ‘big fix’ and Whittlefield Primary School was overwhelmingly voted the winner.
The transformation took just five weeks, with help from a host of businesses across Lancashire and more than 750 hours of volunteered time.
Headteacher Helen Kershaw said: “We had the bus donated and had begun to do the basic groundwork, but turning it into a usable and beautiful library became an overwhelming challenge we simply couldn’t complete without help.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the work that VEKA and all the other volunteers have done; it’s phenomenal and we’re so grateful! I even cried a little when I saw the completed top deck. Before this, we didn’t have the space for a dedicated library within the school, so it really will make an enormous difference for generations of pupils. Thousands of children will enjoy the benefit of this inspirational reading space over the coming years.
“We were delighted to welcome the Mayor to do the official ‘unveiling’ and the children were very lucky to meet Burnley Author Linda Sutherland. We were also joined by Paul Duckworth who is heading up the ‘Let’s Get Reading’ initiative across Lancashire this year, and he was just as thrilled as us to see the finished library.
“As well as championing reading, hopefully this project might also have inspired the children to think about their future careers - as they’ve been learning about the work of an Artist, Marketing Manager, Electrician and VEKA employee to name just a few!”
VEKA’s Marketing Director Dawn Stockell said: “We were thrilled to work on what became the ‘Whittlefield Woodland Library Bus’. VEKA is well known for getting stuck in to charity work, community causes and local projects. It’s a significant part of the company’s ethos and one that we are very proud of.
“With VEKA’s ‘Community Challenge’, we wanted to offer the local community an opportunity to benefit from the team’s practical skills and partnering with 2BR gave us this chance. We couldn’t wait to roll up our sleeves and get stuck in, and the transformation has been incredible; creating the unique reading space the children deserve.
“With 45 volunteers (both from VEKA and keen local helpers) we were able to complete the project in just five weeks. It has been quite an undertaking, racking up more than 750 volunteer hours. Along with VEKA’s time, suppliers across Lancashire have also been incredibly generous and donated products and services worth over £25,000 to create a welcoming and inspiring space. We hope the children enjoy it for many years to come.”
As well as VEKA and 2BR, generous suppliers include: Ally's Sewing Room, A&B Barker Ltd, Carpet Market, Crown Paints, Dexter Decorative Supplies, Doorway to Value, Eyre & Elliston, Fort Vale, Foyle Foundation, Gorilla Glue, Graffiti Rooms, Green Slate Trophies, Gym Upholstery UK, Howarth Timber, Immanuel Fabrics, K Supplies, LED Electrical, MABRON Plastics, Panaz, Pendle Village Mill, Phillips Business Solutions, Robinson & Lawlor, RU Comfy Beanbags, Scott Dawson Agency, Tetrad, Top Class Photography, Transdev, Vantex, and Wellybobs Roadshow.