North east school winners are going into the weekend a combined £15,000 richer thanks to the 2023 Evening Express Pounds for Primaries competition.
Many schools won prizes of at least £100, and the three top schools in their respective categories won a combined £4,500.
The Pounds for Primaries competition, sponsored by Bounty Competitions, asked schools to collect and submit tokens that they snipped out of issues of the Evening Express.
Money to support the donations came from the proceeds of the 2022 Evening Express Christmas Concert, the biggest show in the event’s history.
The smaller (0-150 pupils), medium (151-350) and large (350+) schools that collected the most tokens were declared the winners. VIPs from the Evening Express paid each a visit this week to break the news and deliver the big cheques.
And if your guess as to how the pupils reacted includes any combination of screaming, jumping or theatrical gasping then you’re on the right track.
Hip, Hip, Hatton (Cruden)!
It was all smiles at Hatton (Cruden) School on Wednesday afternoon when Neil Mackland arrived to deliver the school’s winnings.
After he announced that the pupils had managed to win £1,000 for their school, he asked if they had any ideas for how to spend it.
As it turns out, they did.
From new toys and laptops to garden improvements, the pupils weren’t short of suggestions. Head teacher Stacey Beattie said it will take some brainstorming to decide on the best use.
“We’re looking forward to looking through all their ideas and getting some favourites that we can all benefit from.
“We are so thankful to our community for being so supportive and helping us raise so many tokens.
“Some of our parents and families were touching base with their friends and their coworkers and they were all helping us out. It was fantastic!”
Brimmond School bouncing with pride
On Thursday morning, it was Brimmond School’s turn to bask in the spotlight.
As the winner of the large school category, Brimmond won £2,000. Head teacher Michelle McKay said that one idea for putting it to use is already gaining traction.
“The students are planning what they want to do with it and the playground was a popular choice.
“We have a very big playground but not much to do in it, so we have been thinking about what we can get to make it better.”
Mrs McKay said that the school had already spoken with the parent council about some financial support to buy new toys and equipment for the playground. Now the Pounds for Primaries cash is going to change everything.
“It will open up the opportunity for the things that the children really want for this playground. And it will be something that every child, from nursery right up to P7, can enjoy.”
Full circle moment
Mrs McKay said that the school’s success wouldn’t have happened without the help from the Cruden community. Throughout the competition, she said neighbours who didn’t have any family at the school were dropping off tokens.
She also said this week’s win felt like a full-circle moment for the school.
In December, 48 children from Brimmond School performed in the Evening Express Christmas Concert, which generated money for Pounds for Primaries.
Let’s hear it for Fernielea
Winners in the medium school category were Fernielea School, who brought home a prize of £1,500.
Acting principal teacher Sarah Leslie organised the token collection and offered a big thanks to the community for helping pupils raise so much money. Next step: deciding how to spend it.
“Our Community Pupil Voice group will have a large say in what the money will be used for,” she said.
“We would love to use the money in a way that benefits the community such as upgrading our playground.
“We would like to say a huge thank you to the Evening Express and Bounty Competitions for their generosity.”
More winners in the 2023 Pounds for Primaries competition
In addition to the category winners, every participating school that collected 250 tokens won at least £100 pounds.
Here’s the full list of the 2023 Pounds for Primaries winners and runners-up in each category:
- Brimmond School (large) – £2,000
- Loirston Primary School (large) – £1,000
- Stoneywood School (large) – £1,000
- Fernielead School (medium) – £1,500
- Abbotswell School (medium) – £500
- Glashieburn School (medium) £500
- Hatton (Cruden) School (small) – £1,000
- Countesswells School (small) – £350
- Tarves School (small) – £350
The competition was sponsored by Bounty Competitions, run by Leanne and Calvin Davidson. In just three years in business, Bounty Competitions has donated more than £250,000 to local charities.