Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 16.51.45A group of volunteers from a Sunderland-based customer service centre have transformed the gardens of a local primary school to improve children’s outdoor studies.

The EDF Energy Helping Hands team from Doxford International Business Park visited Newbottle Primary School to create ‘bug hotels’, built with natural materials offering nesting and shelter for creepy crawly guests.

The schoolchildren will be encouraged to study insects and other small visitors in a novel and practical approach to science lessons.

Danni Brown, customer service advisor at EDF Energy said; “We were all very enthusiastic about this project as it was something which will benefit local youngsters and their education.

“We all thought it was a great idea as the pupils at Newbottle Primary will have to opportunity to go outside and explore their garden areas, providing something different and exciting, as well as educational.

“Building the ‘bug hotels’ with the team was great fun, and they turned out well. We hope that they will get lots of little insects visiting that they can study.”

The EDF Energy Helping Hands scheme allows employees at Doxford to take up to two days extra paid leave every year to volunteer in the local community. The scheme not only benefits local people, but also provides important personal development and team-building opportunities for staff involved.

Clare Ambrose, nursery teacher at Newbottle Primary School, said; “The EDF Energy Helping Hands completed a great job. Things like our ‘bug hotels’ add to pupils’ educational experiences and they really enjoy being outside and studying the local wildlife.

“It is often difficult for us, both in terms of time and budget, to dedicate ourselves to these projects, so we would like to say a big thank you to the Helping Hands for supporting the school and the children.”

The ‘bug hotel’ project adds to a number of schemes and voluntary projects developed by EDF Energy for schools in the community, including the recent ‘Big Energy Project’ delivered to secondary school students at Venerable Bede Academy and a garden makeover at North East Autism Society school Thornhill Park.