BBC News

Derby pub starts club for pupils from fire-hit schools

Published
image copyrightThe King's Highway
image captionThe sessions run on Wednesday and Friday

A pub has stepped in to offer activity sessions for pupils from two schools hit by fire.

St Mary's Voluntary Academy, in Derby, was destroyed in an arson attack on 3 October.

A second deliberate fire, 48 hours later, caused major damage at nearby Ravensdale Infant School.

City pub The King's Highway has started running free two-hour sessions twice a week where pupils can take part in crafts and learning activities.

image copyrightPA Media
image captionA fire ripped through classrooms at St Mary's Catholic Voluntary Academy

"It's a bit like home-schooling in the pub," said manager Tara Elliott.

"We print out worksheets and activities, and provide the crafts, and they sit at the tables to do them.

"What got to us is some of these kids were saying it felt like they had gone back into lockdown.

"We wanted to do something to get them out of the house and into a routine so they're still getting up and doing things.

"They can still see all their friends across the pub and their mums can still have a chat."

Ms Elliott runs each session herself with two other staff members.

She said she every date had been fully booked so far and they hoped to continue running them until both schools reopen.

image copyrightThe King's Highway
image captionPupils earn a star each time they complete a task

Lorna Blanchenot, head of Ravensdale Infant and Nursery School, said: "We've been overwhelmed by the generosity and support of the whole community.

"The King's Highway's offer of a breakfast club is a fantastic example and much appreciated by us all."

Police are still investigating both fires. No arrests have been made so far.

Follow BBC East Midlands on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Send your story ideas to eastmidsnews@bbc.co.uk.

Related Topics

  • Derby
  • Mickleover
  • Darley Abbey

More on this story

  • Fire which destroyed Derby school 'treated as arson'