Highly Commended at the Social Value Portal Awards for Work with Canterbury School

Leading construction company Bouygues UK has been awarded a Highly Commended Certificate at the Social Value Portal Awards 2022 for its work with Parkside Community Primary School during the pandemic. Bouygues UK undertook the work during the construction of The Riverside at Canterbury in partnership with its sister company Linkcity and Canterbury City Council.

Bouygues UK began work on The Riverside at Canterbury, a £115m mixed use scheme, back in 2019 and when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, the team had only been on site just a few months. Given the school’s proximity to the project, and having learned the issues they were facing, Bouygues UK’s team designed a social value programme tailored especially to the needs of Parkside Community Primary School.

During the pandemic Bouygues UK looked at ways of allowing the children to learn safely while keeping it dynamic and the obvious solution was to move some teaching outside. During the summer of 2020 Bouygues UK:

  • Volunteered and laid topsoil in the garden so grass could grow, and children could enjoy being outside
  • Tidied up the garden enabling the children to grow their own fruit and vegetables
  • Donated spare wooden cable reels from The Riverside project to be used as outside tables, allowing children to learn outside. The pupils also enjoyed painting these to brighten up the garden.

As the weather started to change and the children needed to be indoors more, Bouygues UK donated 300 masks during the late summer and autumn of 2020, for the purposes of staff and volunteer safety. In the spring of 2021, the team were able to support the school by donating laptops, no longer being used by the company that were then refurbished and put to good use by the pupils.

In March 2021, Bouygues UK applied for funding, via its parent company, to build a Sensory Room for the school in order to create a space where the children could be calm and feel safe.

The team at Bouygues UK were successfully awarded £5,000 to create a new Sensory Room in an existing unused space within the school, containing resources to support children with additional needs and Social, Emotional and Mental Health concerns. The Sensory Room was successfully installed by the end of 2021.

Anthea McLevy, Head of School said, “Parkside Community Primary School are really grateful for the continued support of Bouygues UK in making sure the children have access to a rounded education. During these difficult times some children had to learn from home remotely and they didn’t have access to devices. Bouygues UK were able to support with this by donating laptops. This meant that all children had the opportunity to access remote learning. Thank you for all your support as ever.

Rob Bradley, CEO of Bouygues UK said, “I am extremely proud of our team’s dedication to providing substantial support to Parkside Community Primary School during this particularly challenging time for pupils and staff alike. Our social value programme was designed to support the school not only during the pandemic but also after, creating a lasting, positive impact for years to come, for both current and future students at the school.”

Canterbury City Council Cabinet Member for Place which includes regeneration, Cllr Barbara Anne Flack, said: “Well done to Bouygues UK for winning an award and being recognised for the efforts it has made to give something a little extra back to the community while building a scheme that will revitalise a rundown but vitally important part of the city, provide the cinema and leisure facilities residents have been demanding for such a long time, create jobs and result in much-needed affordable housing.”