A Wellington school has opened a new ‘community fridge’ to ensure local people have access to fresh food and drink during the Covid-19 lockdown.
It is based at Wrekin View primary school in Wellington, and open from 8.30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, with a simple message: “Take what you want . . . donate if you can.”
Headteacher Adrian Pembleton explained: “We are passionate about providing a service to our local community wherever we can, and this is the latest example.
“Our original plan was to open a full community café plus a fridge/pantry here at the school. But with the current lockdown in force, we have only been able to open this part of the scheme so far.”
The community fridge – where everything is free – already includes fresh milk, bread, fruit and vegetables, plus cereals, potatoes, pasta, tinned meals, and a variety of washing and cleaning products.
The school’s site manager Russell Garner is the driving force behind the project.
He said: “It started with an idea around holiday hunger, and making sure we could provide meals for our children, and the local community, during school holidays.
“We have been incredibly touched by the acts of kindness which have helped us to grow this project.
“Local businesses and organisations that are helping us include Dodd Group, Tesco Express Wellington, FareShare, and All Saints Church. We want to say a big thank-you to them all.
“If there are any others out there who would be willing to help, we would love to hear from them. They can call us on 01952 388088.”
Wrekin View is part of the Learning Community Trust (LCT), which also includes Hadley Learning Community, Charlton and Ercall Wood secondary schools, plus Queensway Special School, and HLC primary.
Dr Gill Eatough, executive principal and chief executive of the Trust, said: “We are committed to supporting and challenging our schools to be the very best they can be.
“That doesn’t just mean providing a high-quality education right across the ability range – it also involves playing an active part in the local community.
“It is fabulous to see the way in which staff, students, businesses and community organisations have worked together to get this initiative off the ground.”
Mike Briscoe, chair of the LCT, added: “We are very proud of the hard work, commitment and initiative that Russell has shown to set up the kitchen fridge and are pleased to give our support.
“Alongside our other initiatives to support learners, the elderly, local health services and most recently Severn Hospice, this is another excellent example of a caring and compassionate way to help others – just what we should be doing, and the right thing to do.”