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Stones Community Trust

Stones Community Trust: School’s Out

If you haven’t been home schooling, it may have passed you by that last week was half term.

For one week, dining tables weren’t school desks and there wasn’t a fight for who was going to use the laptop first – at least not for coursework!

And during that school downtime, the Stones Community Trust returned to Greenfields Community Primary School to serve up a menu of fun, entertainment and tasty food.

Volunteers from Maidstone United’s charity were determined to run the popular School’s Out programme despite the many Covid-19 restrictions and with the support of Golding Homes were able to offer 20 places a day for children living in Mangravet, Park Wood and Shepway.

Community Development Officer Kay Skelton said: “I’ve got to know lots of families during the last year or so and I can’t tell you how pleased they were when we said we were going to run a half term camp.

“It was great for the kids to get out of the house, see their friends, do some activities and enjoy breakfast and lunch – all in a Covid-safe environment. I am sure the mums and dads enjoyed some peace and quiet for a few hours too!

“Last week was great fun. From athletics to arts and crafts, pancake making to talent shows – we all had a good time. It was a chance to forget about what’s going on in the world and just enjoy being a kid for a bit. It’s easy to forget the impact that successive lockdowns have had on the children and their families.

“A massive thank you to Golding Homes, we couldn’t have run the event without their support. Roll on Easter, we will be back to do it all again.”

Stones Community Trust has been a friend to families in Mangravet, Park Wood and Shepway throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Prior to last week’s activities, volunteers from the charity had been packaging up clothes, food items and toys for families. Initially intended as a Christmas hamper project, deliveries started before and continued after the festive season.

Kay added: “The food hamper project snowballed. The plan was to make up some boxes with festive essentials and treats. We started delivering a couple of weeks before Christmas and in one form or another that continued throughout January and early February.

“It’s so easy in this socially-distanced world to literally live in your own bubble and turn a blind eye to what’s going on around you. If I’ve learnt one thing over the last couple of months, it’s that a gesture of support can mean the absolute world and it’s been a privilege to be there for families at their time of need.”