CHESHIRE TASK FORCE JETS OFF TO KENYA
A task force of 18 Cheshire-based teachers and members of the local business community has embarked on a journey of more than 4,000 miles to visit a school in Kenya.
The team, which includes Alison Hooper, head teacher of Egerton Primary School in Knutsford, and Lindsay Occleston and Keith Birkett of Northwich-based Roberts Bakery, will spend 12 days visiting partner school Egerton Primary School in Njoro, Kenya.
The school in Kenya is linked to Egerton Primary in Knutsford, which was established by Lord Wilbraham Egerton of the Tatton Estate in 1893. His nephew Maurice Egerton, founded the link school in Kenya in 1939. Amazingly, the two schools did not know about each other until 2005. Since then, Mrs Hooper has worked tirelessly to forge strong links between the schools through project work and exchange visits. This trip to Kenya is the biggest and most ambitious exchange visit yet.
The team will travel to the Kenyan school to make vital improvements to the building and teach the pupils with a diverse enrichment programme. Having already taught youngsters the art of making bread at Egerton School in Knutsford, Lindsay Occleston and Keith Birkett from Roberts Bakery will be re-creating the experience for lucky youngsters in Kenya. A giant shipment of bread tins, ingredients, aprons and baking equipment left Manchester Airport early last week in preparation for the bread making extravaganza.
Thanks to funding from Barclays Bank and the Knutsford Rotary Club, the 944 pupils at Egerton School will finally have electricity in their classrooms. A new reception classroom has also been created and this will be painted during the visit. Barclays’ staff will deliver ‘Money Skills’ workshops and Multiflex will provide sports coaching for the children.
Roberts’ family member Lindsay Occleston is secretary of the Egerton Schools’ Foundation – a charity which aims to maintain a solid partnership between the two schools. She said: “This really is a trip of a lifetime for us all. It is such a privilege to be part of this amazing project and to improve and enrich the lives of the children during our visit. We are excited about the bread making too and helping the children to learn a new skill in a really positive and enjoyable way.”
Alison Hooper added: “This trip is the culmination of several months of meticulous planning. Everyone has worked very hard to ensure that it will be a success. I am really looking forward to meeting the children again and seeing the impact that this pioneering project will have on their lives. It is also an immensely valuable project for our children here in Knutsford and they will most definitely learn and grow from this shared experience.”
The team flies out on Saturday 8 February and returns on Thursday 20 February.
Celebrating more than 125 years of baking bread, independent bakery Roberts Bakery was established in 1887. The company has operated from its current premises in Northwich, Cheshire since 1952. The site is kitted out with state-of-the art equipment, which enables the company to produce 1.8 million consistently high quality loaves a week. For four generations, the Roberts family has continued the skilled tradition of baking fine bread, with many members of the Roberts family still actively working for the business.