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Parents and teachers clubbed together at Bury and Whitefield Jewish Primary School (BJWPS) to host a half-term activities week to promote positive mental health while raising money for charity.

During a cold and wet February half-term, everyone at Bury and Whitefield Jewish Primary School came together to do something positive for their community. Both teachers and parents gave up their own time each day to run a variety of sessions as part of a virtual holiday club, including headteacher Claire Simon who led a cookery class showing pupils how to make Florentines. The interactive Zoom sessions ranged from baking, quizzes, street dance, story writing, coding sessions and scavenger hunts, many with prizes on offer.

“You can’t expect people to give up their time,” comments Claire,” but when they do, it’s absolutely fantastic to see.”

With a £10 suggested donation, the activities week raised money for Bury Family Bank, which provides clothes, toiletries and sanitary products to those going into hospital who can’t afford the essentials. The school has yet to calculate how much money has been collected, but with an average of 23 families participating in every activity, it hopes to have raised a donation in the hundreds: “Bury Family Bank is an admirable cause,” believes Claire, “and at a time like this, it is more important than ever to show our support as a charitable partner.”

With many parents having faced the challenge of entertaining their kids at home during lockdown, and the effect of children not having contact with their fellow pupils since December taking its toll, the school was keen to extend its support: “I’m worried about the mental health of those children who haven’t been into school for so many months,” Claire maintains. “The whole idea was that even if parents couldn’t afford it, we offer them some respite while providing the kids with fun, worthwhile social activities – and if we raised some money in the process, all the better.”