A REFURBISHED growing plot, the completion of a garden of reflection and new play equipment will ensure pupils at Le Rondin School can continue to learn and play outside after a donation from Only Fools and Donkeys.
The charity has been a long-term supporter of the school and is continuing that support using money raised from its Mule Bretagne cycle challenge last year and sponsorship from Ravenscroft.
‘Le Rondin is a very unique school in Guernsey and Only Fools and Donkeys has seen just how big a difference our donations have made. We want to continue that support and now thanks to the money raised by the charity ride and sponsorship from Ravenscroft, we have worked with the teachers and identified new projects that make a real difference to the youngsters,’ said Mike Marshall, who founded Only Fools and Donkeys with Ray Smart.
Previous donations from the charity have included playground equipment, tricycles and a full set of judo mats. They have also covered the cost of a Year 6 leavers’ party and provided support to the family of one of the pupils. Support in 2015 will include a £3,000 contribution to the Garden of Reflection and covering the cost of materials needed to refurbish the allotment.
Le Rondin deputy head Linda Armstead said the support would be invaluable to the continuing development of the pupils.
‘Outdoor learning is a real focus for us. The Garden of Reflection has been a long-term project for us and we hope that we can complete that this year. It will be used as a place where we can remember pupils who are no longer with us and provide pupils with a quiet place to enjoy, and an outside area to learn in. We haven’t yet decided how to spend the money from Only Fools and Donkeys but it will enable us to progress our plans,’ she said.
‘In the meantime, we have refurbished our ‘growing plot’ allotment, which we have done with additional support from Floral Guernsey and the Prison Service. Being able to grow things is a very sensory experience and provides the youngsters with personal fulfilment and physical activity.’
New play equipment has also been given and bicycles used for cycling proficiency have been repaired.
‘The equipment will be used by the children during their playtime which means the items we purchase with our own budget can be used exclusively for lessons and will last much longer. We also have bicycles which pupils use for cycling proficiency. Not all the pupils have their own cycle and it can be difficult to bring bikes to school. The school bikes need servicing so they last longer and we are sure they are safe. Brake pads, tyres and chains aren’t very glamorous ways to help but they make an enormous difference,’ said Ms Armstead.
Charlie Roger, chief executive officer, Channel Islands for Ravenscroft, said it was clear Only Fools and Donkeys had identified the right organisations to support.
‘Ray and Mike take the time to build relationships with the charities they support so they can provide really tangible help that may not seem extraordinary but has far reaching benefits. We want them to put the additional support from Ravenscroft to best use based on their insight and understanding of the charities they help,’ he said.