Children at Whitehall Primary School in Greenbank had a surprise after workers from a nearby building site provided them with a new outdoor seating and a basketball hoop.

Staff from the family-run construction firm Sweet Construct, who are building The Chocolate Factory for Generator South West, assembled picnic tables and provided the hoop after hearing the children and staff needed facilities in the outdoor area where they could socially distance at break-times and while eating lunch.

The Bristol-based firm supplied and constructed the new facilities, which was being used by key worker children during the period of lockdown and is now in use by the other children and staff who have gone back to school since lockdown measures have eased.

Sarah Croasdell, Deputy Head of Whitehall Primary School said: “It is a fantastic gesture from the builders and the new seating allows children more space for social distancing at break and lunch times. We weren’t using the main playground during lockdown and the area to the front didn’t have anywhere to sit. Sweet Construct heard about the limited facilities and asked if there was any way they could help.

“We have been wanting to redevelop this area with better facilities for the children for some time and this has got that plan off to a great start. Its lovely to see the staff and children using this space at lunch and to play games and talk with their friends at other times”.

Whitehall Primary School sits on land that used to be part of the old chocolate factory, often known locally as Packers or Elizabeth Shaw. The building that is now the school reception, office and classrooms was originally built as a recreational pavilion for the employees of the factory and was also used as a hospital in WW1.  If  you would like to learn more about the history of the factory you can make an arrangement to visit the visitor centre in Greenbank.