Virgin Trains helps pupils keep on track for an even better education

Published on : Friday, June 10, 2016

virgin trains logoA breakfast club set up by Virgin Trains and the Greggs Foundation has been launched at a North Tyneside school today.


More than 100 pupils at Denbigh Community Primary School, in Howdon, will benefit from the launch of one of the first breakfast clubs organised by Virgin Trains in partnership with the Greggs Foundation.


The club, which is partly paid for through charitable fund-raising by Virgin staff, will provide a free and nutritious breakfast to around a quarter of the school’s pupils.


Head Teacher Louise Guthrie said: “The breakfast club provides a good meal and start to the day for many children. It energises them and has a really positive impact on their learning and attendance, while helping us build up relationships with the local community as teachers get to meet parents on a daily basis.


“The support from Virgin Trains and the Greggs Foundation means we can also extend this to children of working parents. We can now open the school up earlier to help parents get to work in good time. This is really appreciated by parents and teachers.”


The school created a large mural of a train to welcome five volunteers from Virgin Trains who attended the club this morning.


Jennie Pitt, People Engagement & Corporate Responsibility Manager for Virgin Trains, said: “Working with the Greggs Foundation is proving to be one of the successful ways in which Virgin Trains is supporting its communities and making a positive difference.


“Our volunteers will work with the school to raise funds and support learning, including organising trips to Newcastle Central Station to learn more about the railway. Judging by the mural, which was a lovely surprise, the children certainly seem to be train enthusiasts.”


Volunteer and on-board Customer Service Assistant Claire Stephenson, of Wardley, in Gateshead, added: “We’re helping children get the most important meal of the day so they are more alert at school, find it easier to concentrate and are more prepared for the day’s learning.”


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, Breakfast Club Manager, Greggs Foundation, said: “The Greggs Foundation’s Breakfast Club Programme comprises of nearly 400 clubs and offers responsible businesses and organisations a great opportunity to make a difference to local communities. Its success is largely due to the support that we receive from organisations such as Virgin Trains, and we would like to thank them for their support, which will help to provide the children of Denbigh school with a healthy start to the day.”


Virgin Trains will continue to work closely with the Greggs Foundation to bring more breakfast clubs to other schools in the region as well as those along its east coast route.


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