Pupils’ entertaining bid for community tea hub

School children in Cantley are hoping for a share of Aviva's communtiy fund to help them realise the

School children in Cantley are hoping for a share of Aviva's communtiy fund to help them realise their dream of a Book Buddy cafe. - Credit: Archant

A community cafe run by pupils at a small Norfolk village school will be a boost to local folk of all ages - but youngsters need your votes to make it happen.

Children at Cantley Primary School have made an all-singing all-dancing video to support their bid for a five figure sum from Aviva’s community fund.

The six minute film shows them rallying support with an uplifting dance routine to the strains of The Beatles’ classic Help! rounding off interviews and pieces to camera outlining the benefits of the scheme.

So far home-spun fundraising like cake sales and sponsored hula-hooping has raised over £800, not nearly enough to deliver their cafe.

But with more than 3000 votes cast already online they hope to leave the rest trailing and realise their dream to forge stronger links with their local community.

The scheme will create a new outdoor space for events and activities.

It has grown out of the already successful Book Buddy programme which pairs a retired resident with one of the school children for reading and chat.

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Headteacher Jan Pierson said: “The school is seen as a focal point for the village, however any activities we organise usually have to take place off site.

“To try and foster community engagement at the school itself, we set up a programme called the ‘Book Buddy’ which pairs a retired member of the community with one of the school children.

“The programme has proved to be so popular that more children and adults want to get involved and, with this in mind, the children suggested the idea of a cafe where more community activities could take place in a relaxed and interactive environment.”

The pupils have been working hard to raise funds to help with the costs of the project, having baked cakes for cakes raffles and created sponsorship events such as reading, hula hooping and bouncing. So far they have raised over £800.

School governor Bruce Gordon hailed their efforts but said the Aviva fund could make all the difference.

He said: “Despite the brilliant efforts of the pupils, the money raised sadly doesn’t come close to the project cost of £10,000 required to deliver their cafe.

“However, with the support of the Aviva community fund, the children would be able to deliver their dream of opening a community cafe.

“With this in mind, a huge amount of effort has gone in to submitting a detailed and coherent bid, with pupils, teachers and local residents taking part in a brilliant YouTube video to promote the Book Buddy cafe project.

“Parents and families have been fantastic and we are genuinely grateful for the votes we are getting. However we need to keep going and we hope more and more people will see how much the school and the local community deserves this opportunity.”

To vote, you need to register at www.aviva.co.uk/communityfund and search for ‘Cantley’ in the list of bids. You will also be able to watch the video that the school made as part of the bid process by visiting the Mercury’s website at greatyarmouthmercury.co.uk