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East Midlands Chamber News

Builder backs walking to school

St George's School pupils ready to walk to schoolPupils from St George’s Church of England School, in Swadlincote, will be joining forces this month with thousands of children from across the UK, and over 40 countries worldwide, to celebrate International Walk to School Month.

Teaming up with local homebuilders Barratt and David Wilson Homes, the school, which is located close to the developers’ new homes sites Highgrove and Castle Heights, is encouraging the pupils to reap the benefits of walking to school throughout October. Despite the average distance to a pupil’s primary school being one mile, around 50 per cent of children do not walk to school regularly, with an enormous 41 per cent driven in cars.

Philip Lacey, Sales Director for David Wilson Homes East Midlands said: “We have been supporting this campaign for four years now. Many of our new homes developments are located within close proximity to schools, and as families move in, it makes perfect sense for us to support International Walk to School Month. We’re donating 50 hi-visibility tabards to St George’s Church of England School so that the pupils will be encouraged to walk to school and can stay safe as winter approaches and the dark nights draw in.”

Jan Ruston, Sales Director for Barratt Homes North Midlands said: "We want children to be safe and be seen as it gets darker, particularly during International Walk to School Month, and we are helping them do just that by offering St George’s Church of England School a helping hand with hi-vis wristbands for every one of their pupils.”

It is recommended that children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day and therefore walking to school is the ideal time for children to be active. Studies have revealed that walking to school reduces stress in children, and simply walking one mile a day was found to curb increases in blood pressure and heart rate in later life. Studies have also revealed that 90 per cent of parents who walk to school with their children believe it’s a great way to spend quality time with them and over a third stated that the journey to and from school is where they find out the most about their child’s day.

Sue Brindley, Head Teacher at St George’s Church of England School, said: “We believe walking to school is important and try to encourage as many of our pupils as possible to walk to school in a safe and sensible fashion. It is great to see these developers support such a valuable initiative and we really appreciate the donation from Barratt and David Wilson Homes.

“Initiatives like this help to get the children excited about walking to school. By increasing physical activity every day, not only is it benefitting the pupils health, the pupils have the opportunity to burn off some energy before the school day begins and we can also reduce congestion outside the school gates.”

David Wilson and Barratt Homes chose to donate the hi-vis tabards and slap bands to the school as it is close to its Castle Heights and Highgrove developments. Highgrove is located on Anglia Road in Church Gresley. Castle Heights is located on Castle Road in Church Gresley.