Drive to raise funds to equip new £3million school at Newton Poppleford smashes target

Newton Poppleford Primary School children, parents and teachers are thrilled with the amazing suppor

Newton Poppleford Primary School children, parents and teachers are thrilled with the amazing support the community has given them. - Credit: Archant

A drive set on raising money for vital supplies and furniture to equip the new £3million primary school at Newton Poppleford has smashed its original £10,000 target, raising nearly double what was expected.

The new school is set to open in September but up to £30,000 was needed to equip it with everything the village’s children needed.

The Herald previously reported the launch of the PTFA campaign last year. By the end of the summer term, they hoped to raise £10,000 towards the total.

And, this week they were thrilled to announce they had smashed their target, raising a whopping £19,555.

Mum-of-two Emma Finch, from West Hill, who has been spearheading the drive, said it started after the Education Skills Authority commissioned a brand new, state-of-the-art building to replace their 130-year-old school house, along with the outlying temporary classrooms and canteen – all of which will be demolished later this year.

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She said the budget, however, only stretched to the basics, leaving them without essential items within the new building and playground.

Emma said: “We need staging and lighting for the new hall, storage furniture, book cases, seating, signage, classroom window blinds, outdoor seating, playground markings and many other items. Government funding for schools is tight at the best of times and our long shopping list of required items ran to over £30,000. The PTFA committed to raising £10,000 during this academic year to help meet the cost of these items.”

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Among the fundraisers held was a village bonfire night, Christmas fair, pudding and quiz night, a village summer fete and grand raffle. Donations were also made by Sidmouth Lions, Newton Poppleford Cricket Club, Sidmouth Darts League, Clinton Devon Estates, Purple Bricks, Elliots Builders and Sea Salt Sidmouth.

Significant grants for staging and lighting also came from the Norman Family Trust and the Tesco Bags of Help scheme, for playground equipment.

The parents and staff from the school also undertook personal sponsored challenges, as did the children who raised £2,000.

Emma said: “We not only reached, but far exceeded our £10,000 target. This is a huge achievement and the school and PTFA are so grateful.”

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