25 May 2012
Volunteers from Lincolnshire Co-operative picked up their brushes to help paint the buildings in a new miniature village at Welbourn Primary.
The Society gave the school a £5,000 Big Birthday Award grant last year to build a mini version of Welbourn in the school grounds for the children to play in.
Complete with its very own Co-op, a fort, a blacksmiths and two houses, the village represents Welbourn’s history and Lincolnshire Co-op’s first ever country branch which opened there in 1878.
The five wooden structures are now in place and five volunteers from across the Society got stuck in to help paint them inside and out.
As well as the original grant, Lincolnshire Co-op has donated a number of authentic items to go inside the co-op shop including an old till, a carpet and ten shopping baskets.
The Society has also organised for its supplier, The Sign Workshop in Gainsborough, to donate a sign for the miniature shop. It will read ‘Welbourn Primary School Co-operative – donated by Lincolnshire Co-operative Ltd’.
There is artificial grass in the centre of the village and a slabbed walkway. Children will be able to pretend to be shop assistants, managers and shoppers, protect their fort or take on the role of blacksmith.
Welbourn Primary School Head Teacher Vicky Cook said: “Lincolnshire Co-operative has been so kind in initially providing us with the funds to create such a project and then the means to develop it.
"The children are so excited about their village – they can't wait to get inside and start playing in it. We are looking forward to using it to continue to develop their imaginative play and link it to our work learning about the past.
"A huge thank you to everyone at the Co-op, for the funding, the support and the hands-on help they have given us."
Membership and Community Manager Sam Turner said: “Last year, to celebrate our 150th birthday we gave away £500,000 in Big Birthday Awards to 150 different groups.
“We’re delighted to hear great stories about what the money has been spent on, like the mini village at Welbourn Primary School, and we’re even happier that our volunteers have been able to help out.”