When St Mellons’ Bishop Childs Church in Wales Primary School needed £2,390 to make sure it was Covid-19 ready to safely welcome back pupils, its Chair of Governors stepped up to the mark.

Oliver Lancaster, who has served as the Chair for over three years, was aware of the large and unexpected increase in expenditure needed to help the school, as a result of Covid-19, and decided to don his daps in a bid to raise the money.

Oliver, whose two children attend the school, works for gas emergency and pipeline service Wales & West Utilities. 

As Governors we have been working with the school to ensure that pupils and parents needs have been met throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. With the school term starting this month it was apparent there was a £2,390 gap in funding and so I decided to try and raise this money by running 23.9km. Bearing in mind I hadn’t even run 1km for a while, I knew this was ambitious!

Oliver Lancaster, Wales and West Utilities Future of Energy Manager

Oliver built up his running distance from his couch to the big 23.9km run in under four weeks, with parents, pupils, teachers and friends getting behind his cause. He has successfully raised most of the money, with his employer donating £300 through its match-funding scheme, and this has now been spent on resources to support pupils, particularly those who are most vulnerable.

School budgets are always tight, but Covid-19 meant an unexpected hike in expenditure to allow us to open, once again, to pupils.

When Oliver became aware of the negative impact the school restart was having on our already challenging budget, he offered to undertake some fundraising and thanks to his determination and fundraising efforts, we have been able to make changes to our building to facilitate the increased need for hand washing and sanitising, whilst also purchasing additional resources to eliminate the need for pupils to share.

As a school we are so grateful to him for putting so much time and effort into helping us out during such a challenging period of time.

Nicola Price, Headteacher at Bishop Childs Church in Wales Primary School 

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service, brings energy to 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales. If you smell gas, or suspect the presence of carbon monoxide, call us on 0800 111 999 straight away, and our engineers will be there to help any time of day or night. Before visiting, we'll ask you to let us know if you or anyone in your household, is experiencing Coronavirus symptoms or self-isolating. We'll still come and help you: but our teams will take some additional precautions to keep us all safe.