(This was published in the Newark Advertiser on 30th July 2010 as part of my work experience.)

A grant has been offered for new playground equipment that can be transformed into a range of shapes and landscapes at John Blow Primary School, Collingham.

The school have been able to buy a range of large brightly coloured rubber and foam shaped apparatus from the funding of Lincolnshire Co-operative.

“The children just love it, absolutely love it,” said Headteacher Mrs Helen Richardson. “You come out at break time and see about 40 children working together cooperatively and imaginatively. It’s like having giant Lego.”

The Friends of John Blow Primary School applied for the grant in February. They received £500 from the Community Dividend grant, and the equipment arrived on 1st July. “The only thing is that the equipment is scarily expensive,” said Mrs Richardson.

The school council helped raise another £200 through non-uniform days with a Christmas and ‘sunny day’ theme to help fund for the equipment.

The large objects can be used separately or together in any combination. It is kept on a square of tarmac floor in the Year 3 to 6 playground. It is only available to these children, aged seven to eleven, because the equipment is quite heavy.

A member of the school council Dan Walker, 9, said: “I think it’s enjoyable. You can’t really get bored of it because there’s so many things you can do with it.”

Lincolnshire Co-operative share their profits with local communities in a number of ways, including giving donations and grants to good causes. Decisions of applications are made by members of the Member Services Council from Newark and Lincolnshire on a quarterly basis.

Member and Community Manager Mrs Sam Turner said: “It’s great that the youngsters at John Blow Primary School are enjoying their new play equipment and we are pleased to be able to offer help to the school, which has such an important role to play in the local community.”