Pupils crochet for animals affected by Australian bush fires
Caring pupils at North Yorkshire independent prep school Belmont Grosvenor have been learning a new skill to help the wildlife affected by Australia’s devastating bush fires.
Youngsters from the ‘outstanding’ Harrogate school have fitted crochet lessons into their break times and produced dozens of colourful woollen nests for the injured possums and birds in South East Australia whose habitats have been ravaged by fire.
After images of the bush fires in Australia hit the news headlines, pupils at co-educational Belmont Grosvenor School, based at Swarcliffe Hall, Birstwith, have been eager to help their Australian cousins.
Headmistress Mrs Sophia Ashworth Jones: “Everyone in the school community has been affected by the shocking images we have seen on the news and the effect these fires have had on the flora and fauna in this beautiful country.
“Here at Belmont Grosvenor School, we may be on the other side of the world, but we are true global citizens with an enormous affinity with ecology and wildlife. Many of us have Antipodean connections and BGS pupils have been really keen to ‘do their bit’ by learning to crochet and making some much needed nests for displaced animals.”
Mrs Ashworth Jones spent two years living and working in Melbourne, Australia, and has family and friends affected by the bush fires.
“I am in regular contact with colleagues and friends in Australia and it is heartbreaking to hear about the ongoing situation. Our craft clubs are always busy and adapting our popular knitting club meant we all had a really good reason for learning a new skill,” said Mrs Ashworth Jones.
“With the help of some of our teaching staff and governors, the children have spent break times and lunch times together in our main School Hall crocheting They picked it up so quickly – it was wonderful to witness them supporting each other and even teaching their parents how to crochet,” she said.
“I am extremely proud of our BGS pupils who were keen to respond to this crisis – the nests have now been sent off to the Animal Rescue Collective (ARC) Craft Guild in Australia where they will be put to good use,” she said.
Pupils from Year 3 up to Year 6 have been involved in the crocheting – led by Year 5 teacher Mrs Gillian Furniss - along with BGS parents, teachers, family and friends.
And to say a big thank you to everyone for their crocheting, Belmont Grosvenor School chef Mr Shaun White laid on a special Aussie-style breakfast of fruit kebabs, muffins and smoothies and invited children, staff and governors to tuck in.
Co-educational Belmont Grosvenor School and its Magic Tree Nursery welcomes children from three months to 11 years and is set in 20-acres of grounds just a few miles from the centre of Harrogate.