Sidmouth Herald announces Campaign 2012 bid

Sidmouth Primary mini-bus bid chosen for Campaign 2012 backing by Sidmouth Herald

PUPILS at Sidmouth Primary are jumping for joy this week as Campaign 2012 is backing its bid to buy a mini-bus.

An application by the school’s Parent Teacher Friends Association (PTFA) secretary Sarah Fletcher has beaten other strong contenders wanting Sidmouth Herald support during the year to raise funds.

After the merger of St Nicholas Junior School, All Saints Infants and Sidmouth Infants last September, there are now 540 primary pupils working from three sites around the town.

Three PTFAs also merged to provide a link between the sites and is concentrating its efforts into raising enough to hire or buy a mini-bus to facilitate access between them for shared activities and school trips.

School head, Paul Walker, who is delighted Campaign 2012 is backing the bid, said: “We are looking at either a five year lease or to buy outright and need to raise �20,000.

“The difference will be huge. We spend a lot of money on coaches every time we go on a school visit, but we use Sidmouth a lot for days out, going to the beach or swimming; which we do weekly, and with two shuttle runs in a 16-seater mini-bus, we could get them to the seafront.”

Most Read

He said each of the three sites had a wealth of different resources and the mini-bus could be used to transport classes to use these, rather than buy duplicate resources for the other sites.

It would also help parents use the early morning and after school facilities offered, which some cannot easily get to at present.

He thinks it unlikely the school would be re-housed on one site within the next 20 years.

PTFA co-chairman, Salma Chowdhury, said: “All our fund-raising efforts are going to one school and one cause, for the children on all three sites. It is a good goal for a new school to have a new mini-bus.”

She said it would take time for people to realise Sidmouth Primary now had just one PTFA.

Sarah said: “The PTFA has already raised nearly �1,500 at its Christmas Fair and has many more ideas planned to help increase the funds. However, any support from the local community would always be most gratefully received.”

Mr Walker said many older residents, who may have little connection or knowledge of the school, might like to contribute through the campaign and having a mini-bus with the name of the school on its side would raise its profile.

“People need to know we are working together and all our goals are one now,” he added.

“A mini-bus would be the veins connecting us together.”

Two other strong contenders for Campaign 2012 were 1st Sid Vale Scouts who need to raise �200,000 to build new headquarters at Salcombe Regis for 24 Beavers, 45 Cubs, 36 Scouts and 24 Explorer Scouts, and the Sidmouth Millennium Walkway Group, which aims to provide a safe walkway across Peak Hill Road via a footbridge.

Both these causes will continue to be supported through the Herald’s news pages.