Wiltshire Scrapstore

Wiltshire Scrapstore recieved a grant to assemble 500 arts materials boxes to send out to families who are isolated to support home education.

Jane Wheeler, director of the charity, said the idea for the art boxes came as a result of calls from schools. “We were getting calls from headteachers who were worried about specific families and asked for support with their home learning,” she said.

“The craft boxes have all the things you need to support home learning, there are exercise books and pens, glue, scissors, lots of colourful paper and writing paper with envelopes. There are creative things to do creative projects.

“We are very specifically working with schools who have families with the highest need. The families may be in isolation or there are families where the parents have lost their jobs and been made redundant.”

Her and her team’s close links with schools mean they are aware of the most engaging materials to provide. She said: “We know what the children are doing in school so the things we put in will support that. But we are also encouraging free play because these families in particular are going to struggle the most in supporting their children’s education at home.

“They are not going to have the confidence as parents to be doing that so the free play materials will help the children get the enjoyment out of making a card for example or making something to go in their window. It’s these small things that make a difference and bring families together.”

She and her small team have been busy assembling the boxes, which will go all over the county.

“We are working flat out to get them out as quickly as possible because they are needed now. We are so grateful for the grant from Wiltshire Community Foundation because we couldn’t have done this otherwise,” she said.

“Boxes have also gone out with Spurgeons for their frontline workers for families in isolation in Salisbury and Amesbury and we will have more going out to Warminster."

Grant awarded: