New Mills dad launches appeal for schools outdoor learning equipment

A New Mills dad-of-two is appealing for donations to help schools in the area pay for resources to meet Covid-safe guidelines calling for more outdoor learning.

By Ben McVay
Thursday, 3rd September 2020, 7:00 am

Mark Jones, 34, told how eight schools in and around the town would be reopening this month with ‘hundreds of pounds’ missing from their budgets after the cancellation of fundraising events due to the pandemic.

The father-of-two - who runs community interest company New Mills Youth and Community Project - says extra equipment would be needed this term to allow children to learn outside as much as possible.

Play apparatus such as kitchen kits or large dice games will allow children to continue learning outside - to lessen the risks of higher virus infection caused by the indoor environment.

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Mark Jones, of New Mills Youth and Community Project

He said: “I’m a parent of two school children in New Mills and over the last two years we have been attending fundraising events to help pay for lesson resources.

“As parents we’re being told to provide good outdoor clothing for our kids and I know of one school which has had to order lots of new equipment on credit.

“We’re trying to plug the funding gap they will now have due to not having any summer fairs.

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“It’s difficult at the moment with so many people furloughed or made redundant due to Covid-19 - but we’re hoping to raise at least £100 for each setting - it’s not a lot of money but will help them massively.”

Mark, whose community youth project for low-income families will begin providing pop-up activity days during half-term, said nearly £500 of his £800 funding target had so far been reached.

The money raised will be evenly distributed between the following schools - with a 10 per cent additional donation from New Mills Youth and Community Project :

*New Mills School

*New Mills Primary School

*New Mills Nursery School

*Saint Mary’s Catholic Voluntary Academy

*St George’s C of E Primary School

*Thornsett Primary School

*Newtown Primary School

*Hague Bar Primary School

Mark added: “Parents, carers, grandparents, aunties and uncles, cousins, godparents, friends, neighbours, businesses - please help and please support.”

To make a donation see the Go Fund Me page at