More than 60 pupils at Low Road Primary School, Leeds, have taken advantage of one of the first breakfast clubs organised by Virgin Trains and the North East based charity, Greggs Foundation.
A team of six Virgin Trains staff volunteered to do the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge and raised more than £5,000 to finance the new breakfast club in Leeds. It provides a free and nutritious breakfast to more than half of the pupils at the school.
Natalie Oxley, mother of seven-year-old Chelsea, said: “The breakfast club gets the children socialising, builds up their confidence and is definitely making a difference to Chelsea’s education.”
Natalie is one of seven parent volunteers who help facilitate the breakfast club before lessons begin at the school.
Rachael Troughton, Headteacher at Low Road Primary School, said: “We all know how important it is for our children to have breakfast and seeing them enjoying breakfast is great. Parents tell us we have taken stress out of their mornings for both them and their children. Punctuality and attendance have both improved, which is a real bonus.”
Jennie Pitt, corporate responsibility manager for Virgin Trains, said: “It’s brilliant to see how we’re able to help pupils get an even better start to school with the breakfast club which we recently launched. Working with Greggs Foundation is proving successful in one of the ways we are able to support some of the customers and communities we serve.”
The Greggs Foundation Breakfast Club programme first launched in 1999 to help primary school children from disadvantaged areas get a nutritious start to the school day.
Lynne Hindmarch, Greggs Foundation Breakfast Club manager, said: “The results of our breakfast clubs are spectacular. We are currently supporting 358 primary schools around the country; offering a free nutritious breakfast each school day to more than 21,000 children. We could not do this without the support without the support of partners such as Virgin Trains.”
Andy Gamble, executive headteacher at Low Road and Windmill Music Federation, said: “The breakfast club is helping us improve attendance, punctuality and the learning experience of the pupils. It gives them more energy for the school day and results in better concentration, confidence and a much stronger community feel in the school.”
Virgin Trains will continue to work closely with Greggs Foundation to bring more breakfast clubs to other schools in the region as well as those along its east coast route.