Life lessons get a boost in Bournemouth and Poole

A giraffe paid a special visit to local co-operative colleagues this week to mark three special donations.

No one was harmed in the visit as the giraffe was just a few feet high and used to visiting primary school children to help with Life Education lessons.

‘Harold’ the giraffe – known locally by children, parents and schools as ‘Harold and the Life Bus’ – visited The Co-operative Food store in King John Avenue, Bearwood, to celebrate  recent donations to the charity.

Three local Co-operative Food stores, which are part of Southern Co-op – the regional, independent co-operative – have donated a total of £1,250.

The funding will enable more than 350 children in Bournemouth and Poole to receive life education from Life Education Wessex.

Matt Hunter, Store Manager at The Co-operative Food in Ringwood Road, Poole, said: “We all appreciate what the charity does for our local children. I have got my first child on the way and our Bearwood store manager also has young kids.

“Harold and the Life Bus is really prominent in the area and I rarely see any anti-social behaviour so it must be having an impact.

“By going into the schools and supporting the children every year at a young age with life skills and healthy eating – that really makes a difference. It is really good to teach them what they need to do to keep themselves healthy and happy and how to avoid becoming involved in risky behaviours.”

A £250 donation was made by the Creekmoor store in Northmead Drive, £500 was donated from the Bearwood store in King John Avenue and £500 from the Poole store in Ringwood Road.

Life Education Wessex provides vital early intervention education to around 30,000 local children every year helping them to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to make their own positive choices about their health – both physical and emotional.

Lorraine Hewitt, Fundraising Manager at Life Education Wessex, said: “We teach children about the wonders of their body and what they need to do to look after it, as well as the effects of obesity, drugs, smoking, alcohol and other substances. 

“We also show them how to avoid risky behaviours that may damage their health and their futures. There’s never been a more important time for life education with the pressures and challenges that children face today – an uneducated child is simply a vulnerable child.

“Without any Government funding, we rely on schools and donations from the local community. Schools contribute approximately 50% of the funding and as a charity we have to raise the shortfall. We are delighted with the support from Southern Co-op’s stores which will help support Life Education for over 350 children.”

Southern Co-op’s stores support local good causes as part of the society’s community engagement programme ‘Love Your Neighbourhood’. This initiative addresses four key social themes for promoting: ‘Greener’, ‘Healthier’, ‘Safer’, and ‘More Inclusive’ neighbourhoods.

To find out more, visit www.southernco-op.co.uk/makingadifference.

BELOW – (L to R) Bearwood Store Manager Trevor Martin, Fundraising Manager at Life Education Wessex Lorraine Hewitt, and Ringwood Road Store Manager Matt Hunter with ‘Harold’ the giraffe.

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