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Schools receive arts funding in memory of tragic Dunblane teacher

Dunblane teacher Gwen Mayor
Dunblane teacher Gwen Mayor

Schools in the north and north-east have received thousands of pounds from a trust set up in memory of a teacher killed in the Dunblane massacre.

Sixteen children and teacher Gwen Mayor were shot dead by a gunman in the incident at the town’s primary school on March 13, 1996.

Later that year, the Gwen Mayor Memorial Trust was established by the Educational Institute of Scotland union to fund arts, culture, music and sports projects across the country.

Since then it had funded scores of schemes, benefiting hundreds of primary schools and thousands of youngsters.

This year 11 projects have been handed a share of almost £10,000, including a healthy eating initiative and a performance of The Jungle Book Kids.

Hazlehead Primary in Aberdeen has been awarded £865 to help make its playground “as friendly and inclusive as possible”.

In recent years, children have been helping staff to renovate the area.

Meanwhile £1,000 has been given to Towie Nursery and Primary School in Aberdeenshire to help youngsters learn a musical instrument, regardless of their background.

Elsewhere, the tones chimes group at Shapinsay Community School in Orkney has been awarded £602.

The funding will allow youngsters to continue performing together and provide an option for them to continue learning the instrument after they leave primary school as part of an evening group.

Last year Kellands, Meethill and Banchory schools in Aberdeenshire all received funding for the trust, using it to purchase musical instruments, a choir sound system and set up an art exhibition.

EIS general secretary Larry Flanagan said: “The Gwen Mayor Trust continues to support a wide range of wonderful projects in primary schools the length and breadth of Scotland.

“The EIS, and everyone associated with the trust, is extremely proud that its funding has benefitted so many school communities and so many young people over the years.

“The work of the trust in supporting arts, music, cultural and sporting projects across Scotland continues to be a fitting tribute to the memory of Dunblane Primary School teacher Gwen Mayor.”

John Wheeler, Aberdeen City Council’s education operational delivery convener, said: “We were delighted to learn about the funding from the Gwen Mayor Trust which will help head teacher Barbara Jones, her staff and pupils with their wonderful work in the renovation of Hazlehead School’s playground area to create a truly inclusive environment for all to enjoy.”

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