• Tue. Nov 28th, 2023

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Darlington’s Polish Saturday School Takes Centre Stage

The Polish Saturday School in Darlington is helping its pupils take centre stage after being awarded £250 from Venator’s £10,000 Together Fund.

Global chemical company Venator, the experts in pigments and additives which has its HQ at Wynyard Park, established its Together Fund in July 2018 to support communities where its employees live and work. Successful applicants went head to head with scores of community and sporting groups in an online vote involving 65,000 people region-wide.

The winning groups, including four from Darlington, received a grant of £250 towards activities that inspire teamwork, one of Venator’s core values.

Grants were awarded to: the Polish Saturday School; Darlington Harriers & Athletics Club; Darlington Quakers U9s and Pierremont Giving Garden.

The Polish Saturday School has over 100 pupils aged between 5 and 16 and meets every Saturday during term time in Hummersknot Academy. The community organisation, established two years ago by teachers and friends, aims to promote Polish culture and bilingualism. Pupils are encouraged to learn about Polish culture through educational lessons (including language, history and geography) as well as creative activities including the school’s ‘Little Theatre’ project, school band and choir.

Anna Urbanowicz, The Head of Strategy at the Polish Saturday School, said: “We’ve found that one of the best ways to inspire our pupils to learn has been by giving them the opportunity to express themselves through drama as well as music. That’s why we created the school’s ‘Little Theatre’ project and music groups.

“Thanks to the Venator Together Fund we were able to buy costumes and stage sets for the school’s two festive productions which our pupils thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of creating, rehearsing and performing. The extra funding really helped to inspire not only the pupils, but the teachers and parents, to be more creative.

“The grant is also helping the school to form a band and choir which the children are very excited about. We plan on getting the children some ukuleles and they can’t wait to learn how to play as a band, as well as learn how to sing in the choir, so they can do a live performance.

“I would thoroughly recommend other groups to apply for grants under Venator’s Together Fund and we will definitely be applying for a Together Fund grant again. It was a transparent, straight-forward application process and the grant itself has been a tremendous boost to the school. It has enabled us to better support and encourage our pupils’ creativity – boosting their interest in learning new skills and taking on new challenges.”

Karen Fenwick, Vice President Corporate Branding and Communications at Venator, said: “It’s great to hear how the grants are actually spent and that they do make a difference to schools, teams and community groups across the North East.

“With over 600 employees across the North East, we think it’s important to give back to the communities where we live and work. Congratulations to all who received an award and for those that weren’t successful this time, our Together Fund will be reopening for entries after the summer!”

Anyone interested in attending the Polish Saturday School can visit call 07981162332.

Venator is a New York Stock Exchange listed business with its global HQ at Wynyard. The company established its £20,000 Community Fund in July 2018 in a bid to support the communities in which its employees live and work through supporting projects that align with their values. The £20,000 Venator Community Fund incorporates The Together Fund and The Bright Ideas Fund.