Longtown Community Primary School

Longtown Community Primary School

The Kindness and Anti-Bullying Campaign

The Kindness and Anti-Bullying Campaign, Longtown Community Primary School and Longtown Pre-School are delighted to announce they are FINALISTS at the Herefordshire Community Championship Awards. Nominated in the ‘Youth Category’ for their inspiring anti-bullying Kindness Campaign!

Jane Barnes, Headteacher at Longtown Community Primary School, said: 'When Bethan and Sally came to me with their idea for the Kindness Campaign - creating a school friendship swing and raising money for the school & Pre-school through the sale of Kindness Cards, created by the children - we were so excited. It's brought the local community together and we've been fortunate that many wonderful local businesses are supporting this great cause'. With children’s mental health at the forefront of recent news stories, encouraging kindness is more important than ever. Worryingly, social media has become a playground for the bully - hiding behind a computer making it far easier. It's good to remind everyone about the importance of thinking before they speak, and type. With this in mind, Longtown Community Primary School & Pre-School are championing the importance of showing kindness to fellow classmates, supporting anti-bullying charity Kidscape's vision for 'all children to grow up in a world free from bullying and harm'.

Jill Taylor at Kidscape, who is a key supporter of the campaign, praised the project saying: 'You're never too young to learn to talk about bullying and kindness, so it's important to be doing this at a primary level. Communicating in a fun and open way gives young people the skill set to confidently stand up to bullying, not just for themselves but for others'. 

Speaking to the children at Longtown Primary School and Pre-School about what they thought it meant to be kind, their answers were collected anonymously from a box left in each classroom for a week. The children had time to really think about their answers. With the help of our sponsor Berrington Press, a family-run and local artisan printers, Sarah used her aesthetic skill to turn the children’s words and sentences into three beautifully crafted all-purpose greetings cards. No images. Just the kind words and thoughts of the children. Poignant and often humorous, some made us laugh (‘Don’t be Scary!’) whilst others invited introspection about our own actions (‘I have a hand, you have another, let’s put them together and we have each other’). It’s this beautiful anecdote written by a former Year 6 pupil that has been carved into the ‘Kindness Swing’ which has been installed in the school playground as part of the campaign. Inspired by a recent exhibition at The Tate Modern which installed a series of swings that seat up to four people, they encourage the notion that when we swing together, we go higher, further. Life's better when we work together.

Many wonderful businesses have supported the 'kindness swing' from Blacksmith Ricky Lewis of Rowlestone Forge who designed and hand crafted the oak swing frame and Pontrilas Builders Merchants who donated the materials, together with Huws Gray for supplying the play bark for the area. The Oak and Rope Company kindly donated the beautifully hand-engraved swing seat which seats up to three children. With the support of these companies and individuals, inspired by the project enough to dedicate time and resources, they have enabled an engaging space for children to sit and swing out the good times and bad.   

BBC 2's recently celebrated 'A Vicars Life - Herefordshire' which features Longtown's own resident - and now celebrity-vicar, Nicholas Lowton, opened the swing officially in March 2018, also showed praise for the campaign:

‘What a great thing. Bullying is so sadly prevalent in this current age, and the accessibility of technology is making it even more vicious. The swings are a message of hope. The children's written words are making a difference. They are witnessing the effect that one single word can make to someone's life'.

Please support the campaign and our School & Pre-School by buying a pack of Kindness cards! Printed on 100% recycled cotton, the cards are £4.50 for a pack of 3 and are beautifully embossed in three vibrant colours.

Pick up a pack either directly from the School office or through the Kindness Cards Facebook page: bit.ly/kindnesscards For further information and enquiries please contact the Kindness Campaign founders Bethan Lofthouse & Sally Bigley - kindnesscards@hotmail.com

SPONSORSHIP

Our thanks go out to all sponsors without whom this campaign would not have been possible. Thank you for supporting us along our kindness journey.

Kidscape who support families in crisis - www.kidscape.org.uk

Berrington Press (Hereford) - www.berringtonpress.co.uk

Rowlestone Forge (Hereford) (Ricky Lewis) - @rowlestoneforge (facebook)

Pontrilas Builders Merchants (Hereford) - www.pontrilasmerchants.co.uk

The Oak & Rope Company Ltd (Kent) - www.theoakandropecompany.co.uk

Huws Gray Building Supplies  (Hay-On-Wye) - www.huwsgray.co.uk/shop/

Hopes of Longtown  (Hereford) - www.hopesoflongtown.co.uk