• Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub


Silvertree Primary School retired teacher Judith Kidd with pupils Poppy Gill and Jamie Collinson in the new school library named after her.

YOUNGSTERS at a County Durham primary school are falling in love with reading, thanks to the support of a leading housing developer.

Silver Tree Primary School at Usher Moor applied to the Miller Homes Community Fund for some support so they could develop a much-needed library.

And now the library is open for pupils, with the addition of a comfy sofa for youngsters to enjoy the books, courtesy of the Miller Homes donation.

Miller Homes – which is delivering new homes across Durham, Tyne and Wear and Northumberland – introduced its regional Community Fund in 2022 to help grassroots projects linked to education, wellbeing, the environment and sport across the North East.

And twice a year good causes can apply for a share of £10,000 to help them with a specific project or need.

Head teacher Helen Grainger launched the library project in September, with plans to turn an empty classroom in a reading resource.

“We did a survey and found that not many children were members of a library or had even been in a bookshop,” she said.

“So we decided that we needed to create our own and really open the experience of reading all of our children.

“There is no library in the village so we knew how important this would be for everyone.

“We desperately needed somewhere for the children to be able to sit but we simply didn’t have any funds so we were absolutely delighted to have received the donation from the Miller Homes Community Fund.”

The money has been spent on buying a sofa and bean bags for the library, which was officially opened on the last day of term (Tues 19 December) by former teacher, Judith Kidd, who has had the library named after her.

Silver Tree Primary School was one of a number of good causes who successfully applied for a share of the fund.

Money also went to Seaton Sluice Football Club to help pay to take young players to a tournament in Blackpool, as well as North Shields-based Mindstars NE to buy craft materials to help young people suffering with mental health issues.

Cramlington’s Mayfields Community Centre received £1000 to support its community meal service and St John’s Methodist Church, Whitley Bay were awarded money to pay for their Friday Cuppa Warm Welcome sessions for anyone feeling lonely or isolated.

Argus Community CIC at Peterlee were granted £1000 to help fund the plan to provide free accredited training for long term unemployed people and the 1st Newfield Scout Group, at Chester-le-Street, received a grant to enable them to buy two event shelters.

Ryan Lincoln, Regional Operations Director of Miller Homes North East is delighted the company has been able to help so many good causes.

“The Community Fund is there to support organisations at grass roots levels who need a helping hand,” he said.

“Creating communities is what Miller Homes is all about and so being able to show that in a tangible way is something we’re absolutely delighted to do.”