Santa gives creative boost to Swanage school kids

Thanks to generous grant funding and a donation from the Swanage and Purbeck Rotary’s Santa’s sleigh fundraiser, 150 bags full of art materials are to be distributed among pupils at Swanage primary schools to encourage them to get creative over the summer holidays.

The scheme is mainly targeted at families on tight budgets who are most in need of additional resources at home, although extra bags have been given to schools to give to children who they think will most enjoy or benefit from them.

Art bags for school children

Inspired to get arty

It’s hoped that some children, who may not have been inspired to get arty before, may be tempted to do so by an exciting goody bag filled with art supplies.

Swanage Neighbours, the mutual-aid charity behind the Swanage Community Coronavirus Response Group came up with the idea and was able to secure £500 of funding from Swanage and Purbeck Rotary and £1,000 from Dorset Community Foundation.

Laura Rowan filling the art bags

The chair of Swanage Neighbours, Laura Rowan checking the bags full of art supplies

The chair of Swanage Neighbours, Laura Rowan said:

“It’s been a privilege to help set up a network of amazing volunteers across Swanage, who’ve fetched their neighbours’ shopping and prescriptions during the pandemic but we thought, as we come out of lockdown, we’d like to do more to help.

“With children out of school for so long we know many families are running low on art supplies to keep their children entertained, so this is a way of helping out and spreading a bit of happiness over the summer holidays.

“We’re also glad to be purchasing many of our materials from the Dorset Scrap Store – supporting a really excellent local initiative that aims to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill. I must say a big thank you to the Rotary and the Dorset Community Foundation for funding this, as it wouldn’t have been possible without them.”

Art materials in the bags

“This project really touched our hearts”

The chair of Swanage and Purbeck Rotary Youth Committee, Hilary Thraves said:

“The Rotary is delighted to be involved in the scheme. Every year we let Barry Audley, who drives Santa in his sleigh round the houses in Swanage, choose a good cause and so £250 came from Barry’s fund and the other £250 came from our youth budget.

“We feel its very important to support our local children and this project really touched our hearts. This is a great idea, so we were very happy to help!”

Also involved in making this project happen has been the Swanage and Purbeck Development Trust, who helped Swanage Neighbours with the grant application and some of the logistics, so a real community effort!

For further information

Swanage Neighbours is the mutual-aid charity behind the Swanage Community Coronavirus Response Group, formed to create a neighbour network across Swanage at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Swanage Neighbours

Swanage and Purbeck Rotary aims to help others through organising fundraising and social events.

Swanage and Purbeck Rotary

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