Three local branches of the Southern Co-op have given £1,200 to a school in Purbrook, Hampshire, for new musical equipment.
The donation, from the society’s retail and funerals branches in Cowplain, Widley and Purbrook, is part of the society’s community engagement programme Love Your Neighbourhood, through which charities and not-for-profit groups can apply for financial support. The programme is funded through the carrier bag levy.
Lisa Barge, music teacher at the school, said: “Music is a huge part of Purbrook Park School where we offer every pupil the opportunity to flourish both in confidence and musical ability.
“When offered such an amazing amount of funding from the Southern Co-op, we were able to extend the department even further to include new iMac computers for our pupils, enabling us to offer music technology for the first time.
“We are hugely grateful that we have also been able to refurbish old equipment to offer the very best instruments for our pupils to study with.
“Thank you again to Southern Co-op and in particular to Paula Slape for her amazing support in enabling every pupil to be given such amazing, musical opportunities.”
The Southern Co-op’s funeral coordinators at Cowplain, Paula Slape and Jackie Duthie, are former students of the school.
Ms Slape said: “Music brings people together like you wouldn’t believe. Music crosses all ages, races, genders, academic abilities, physical or emotional difficulties. Nothing matters with music.
“I wanted to get the funding so they could purchase more equipment to allow everyone the opportunity to try their hand at music. It really is food for the soul.
“When my son Thomas started in Year 7 he wanted to learn the drums. He had no confidence but they worked with him, encouraged him and turned him around. He has gone from someone who wouldn’t go near the stage to a lad that’s now performing regularly.”