Ashby Co-op provides funding for primary school Worry Monsters and Boxes - to help children talk about their concerns

'The Co-op encourages myself and other store managers to get involved in the community and this was an ideal opportunity to work with a local school in Ashby'


By Graham Hill

Posted: Wednesday, 03rd May 2023 12:00 am


Ashby Co-op presented the cheque at Ashby C of E Primary School. Photos: Ashby Nub News
Ashby Co-op presented the cheque at Ashby C of E Primary School. Photos: Ashby Nub News
Big seasonal moments

Ashby C Of E Primary School has received funding from the Co-op for a set of Worry Monsters and Boxes to help children who may have concerns they need to discuss.

Staff at the school, based in Burton Road, say they have become a confidential way of enabling pupils, who may be affected by a wide range of worries, to make issues known.

Ashby Co-op manager, Richard Walton, and local Co-op Member Pioneer, Monica Bullock, went along to the school to present a cheque for £150 and meet some of the pupils.

Co-head teacher, Shelly Geeson explained: "The boxes and monsters provide the opportunity for children to alert to someone that they need a chat.

"It's in a nice, discreet way of letting teachers know they need to have a chat about something.

"It can be for a variety of reasons. Our younger children are able to put photographs in there or their names. The older ones, may tell us what they are worried about and they know that can have a quiet talk about it.

"We do emotional check-ins with the children and this is about reinforcing that.

"It means there are trusted people here they can speak to.

"As well as that, we want children to know it's okay to talk about anxieties, particularly after Covid.

"There are a lot of pressures around for people at the moment.

"But we also have an ELSA - Emotional Literacy Support Assistant - if some worries need a little more specialist attention."

Richard explained the donation is all part of the Co-op having a genuine presence in the town's communities.

He said: "The Co-op encourages myself and other store managers to get involved in the community and this was an ideal opportunity to work with a local school.

"When I came here, they suggested the Worry Monsters, as this is quite appropriate at the moment with the children. We took the opportunity to make a donation.

"The money provides the soft toys and the boxes for the school.

"The children can put their concerns in the box and it can then be discussed. It's all anonymous as the children don't know who's raised the worry.

"But then a worry shared is a worry halved."

MP Monica added: "This supports the Co-op's corporate values of supporting mental health issues in the community."

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