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Derby special school among first recipients of award for covid heroes

Derby special school among first recipients of award for covid heroes

KEYWORKERS at a Derby special primary school are among the recipients of a brand-new awards scheme aimed at recognising the heroes of the coronavirus pandemic.


The Derbyshire Beacon of Hope awards – a collaboration between Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council, the Lord-Lieutenant and High Sheriff of Derbyshire – was created to identify and thank groups or individuals who have worked tirelessly to keep communities safe and businesses moving during COVID-19.

St Giles School has been nominated for being pillars of the community and ‘going above and beyond’. After the UK Government took the decision to close all schools in England in March 2020, St Giles remained open to offer an alternative provision for its most vulnerable pupils and those whose parents or carers who were classed as key workers.

Staff created and safely delivered specially-tailored home learning aids to pupils who were home-learning, gave parents and carers their work mobile numbers so that they could contact them and didn’t feel shut off at a difficult time and, with contributions from the school PTA, provisions such as pasta, toilet rolls and bread were purchased and sent out to those who were shielding.

Other measures included staff taking part in regular prescription runs for essential medication, setting up a dedicated mobile phone number for the school’s NHS nurse and a link-up to translators so that they could support families where English isn’t their first language.

Executive head teacher Clive Lawrence said:

“Because of the needs of our pupils – some are tube fed or rely on an oxygen tank and some have life-limiting illnesses - St Giles School offered an alternative provision for vulnerable children and families when the pandemic was at its peak.

“Everyone – and by that, I include the teaching and support staff, teaching assistants, catering staff, school NHS nurse, cleaning staff, family support practitioners and PTA, plus our wonderful pupils and their parents/carers and senior leadership team - played a pivotal role in making sure that St Giles School remained a thriving community during the most challenging time in education.”

Other individuals and organisations in Derby and Derbyshire who have been nominated for an award include Chrissa Wadlow of Sunshine Support; a Derby-based independent charity who provide independent information, advice and support to parents, carers and professionals of children and young people with special educational needs and Kerry Ganly, of Penguin PR, who volunteered her PR skills to Derbyshire charity Treetops Hospice and business start-up, Colleague Box – will be presented with a certificate and badge later this year.

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