Monday, 29 October 2012

West Briton Column 29 October 2012

It was a great pleasure to join Volunteer Cornwall at the annual volunteer of the year award celebration. It was great to see volunteers of all ages and abilities being celebrated for their work in the community. I was as ever astonished at the sheer range of voluntary work that takes place in Cornwall, from cultural and educational activities to help  and support offered to vulnerable people in their homes or in hospital.

Listening to the contribution that those nominated have made was both inspiring and humbling.
I can't think of an aspect of our lives in Cornwall that volunteers are not involved, particularly supporting our vital public services. From monitoring CCTV cameras in town centres to working alongside staff at the Royal Cornwall Hospital to being first responders at a road traffic accident or if someone collapses in the street, volunteers are at the forefront of community safety. Volunteers are also the backbone of community sport, in clubs in every corner of Cornwall, encouraging and supporting children and adults to reach their potential. The whole column could be taken up with examples!

Last year and again this summer I spent time with the volunteers of the future, local young people, from all backgrounds and parts of Cornwall taking part in the National Citizenship Service programme. Every one of the young people I met found it a thoroughly challenging and worthwhile programme and were proud of what they achieved. Some have already started regular volunteering as a result of their National Citizenship Service experiences,  all had learned more about how to work together to make a positive contribution to their community.

Volunteering need not be a regular commitment over a long period of time. As the winter nights are drawing in and temperatures are dropping, it is very important that we all prepare for winter and help our neighbours and friends who might need a helping hand to do so. Especially, elderly neighbours and friends, many of whom might be worried about recent increases in energy bills. Some may also feel isolated.

During the many years I have worked with the wartime generation, I have observed how difficult it can be to persuade those that most need it to take the help that is available. Every year, many millions of pounds of benefits go unclaimed. There is much scaremongering in some parts of the national media about changes to benefits that I am very concerned that it is putting some people off from finding out what they are entitled to. So you can help family members, neighbours or friends, I have produced a guide to what is help available. This information can be obtained by calling my office on 1872 274 760. CAB Cornwall offer benefits advice and can be contacted on 08444 99 41 88.

While last week I cautiously welcomed the better news about our economy, and do believe we have turned a corner, I very much appreciate what a tough winter this will be for many of my constituents.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Truro festivities

I look forward to the always spectacular seasonal events in Truro, which begin in November

Friday, 26 October 2012

Encouraging news on growth

 I welcome the news that the UK economy grew 1% over the third quarter of this year. Whilst the Olympics is estimated by the Office of National Statistics to have accounted for 0.2% of this growth, much of the credit must go to the businesses that have between them created over a million new private sector jobs since 2010. I know from my regular meetings with the business community in Truro and Falmouth just how hard employers are working to grow their businesses and create more jobs for local people.

There is still a lot of hard work to be done to rebalance the economy after the 2008 crash but this a step in the right direction:

Local club awarded lottery funding

I am delighted to see that Grampound Football Club has been awarded £50,000 in Lottery funding to go towards a new pitch

Truro College students join work placement scheme

This work placement scheme, at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, is an excellent example of how students can gain valuable experience of the working world while still studying

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Inter-Faith Centre plans progress

I am pleased that the plans for Dor Kemmyn’s Inter-Faith Centre at Penmount are progressing

West Briton Column 25 October 2012

Last week in Parliament I was involved in legislation that will make a positive contribution to the success of the port of Falmouth for years to come. Thanks to the close working relationships that I have established in the port, I am able to make sure their local knowledge and experience is informing policy emanating from Westminster or the European Union. Achieving the right balance of protecting and improving the environment while enabling successful port operations to continue remains an important part of each week in Westminster.

As does supporting our local NHS. While I firmly believe that decisions about the day to day operation of the NHS should be made by those leading the NHS in Cornwall, working closely with staff and partners, I do get involved both to support and be a critical friend where I need to be. This is when I am representing the concerns of my constituents as either patients or staff.

While the Coalition has not cut the NHS budget, despite Labour and the Lib Dems advocating such cuts, the growth in demand in services is creating tough challenges for managers of our NHS. The Royal Cornwall Hospital has made strides forward in improving patient safety and care while better managing its finances. I congratulate them for those improvements and will continue to do what I can to help.

However I am very concerned from meetings I am having with nurses across the NHS about their fears for potential changes to their wages and working conditions. Sadly, because of poor planning decisions taken some time ago about the number of nurses that would be needed in Cornwall, not enough have been trained. We have seen the consequences recently with difficulties in trying to recruit and retain nurses for local hospitals.

I am very concerned that nurses in other EU countries, with governments that are not taking the difficult decisions necessary to get thier economies onto a stable footing, with the consequence of dreadfully high unemployment, will come over to work in our NHS. They are so desperate they will work for lower wages. If I were them I would do the same to support my family.

While the Government, despite the protestations of our Coalition partners, has clamped down on non EU immigration, thanks to the last Labour government there is currently nothing we can do at the moment to limit people from other parts of the EU coming to work here. Although this is now being actively looked at.

I don't think it is right for NHS managers to balance their books by cutting wages for front line and often modestly paid staff - nurses, care assistants and technicians. Unsurprisingly, experienced nurses and other staff will leave to earn more money elsewhere leaving the hospitals to recruit staff from overseas. This is not good for patient safety and it is not fair on nurses and care assistants who have often contributed to the cost of their own training and who would rather stay in the NHS.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Truro Cathedral anniversary celebrations

I look forward to the November celebrations to mark the 125th anniversary of the opening of Truro Cathedral

Eye-catching flags planned for Perranporth

I am pleased to see Perranzabuloe Parish Council and Perranporth School  among many other local groups, working to produce colourful flags to promote Perranporth for all

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Speaking out about Osteoporosis

 Following my accident earlier this year, I am keen to highlight this condition – as published in the Daily Mail today and linked to below:

Monday, 22 October 2012

Welcoming progress on Perranporth beach safety

Securing key assurances on Marine Navigation Bill

Supporting Mobile Homes Bill in Parliament

Helping pollution reduction measures to pass through Parliament

Falmouth primary school achieves Fairtrade status

I am pleased to see that the work of the pupils and teachers at St Mary’s School in Falmouth to promote Fairtrade products has been rewarded

Local volunteers win national award

I am delighted to see that the Friends of Penmere Station volunteer group have received national recognition through the Community Rail Partnership Awards for their hard work in the upkeep and maintenance of the beautiful Penmere Station

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Big Energy Saving Week

The Big Energy Saving Week will be a weeklong series of activities that are being co-ordinated by the Citizens Advice Bureau and will be supported by funding from the six largest energy suppliers.
The campaign brings together consumer groups, the Energy Saving Trust, third sector organisations, Government and Ofgem to help consumers find out how they can lower their energy bills. Citizens Advice and its partners aim to reach around 50 million people through this campaign, including around 400 events in communities throughout Great Britain, with a particular emphasis on reaching vulnerable consumers.
The campaign will run from 22nd October to 27th October and to find out more and where the nearest event is to you, please go to the campaign website at: or contact the Citizens Advice Bureau on 01872 885 613.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Local generosity looks set to save Truro City Football Club

I welcome the news coming in this evening that a bond offered by two Truro businesses may keep Truro City Football Club in the Football Conference for the time being. I am closely monitoring the situation and have offered any assistance I can give to club administrators as they fight to secure a long term future for the club.

International Study to take Place at Royal Cornwall Hospital

 I am pleased to see that Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) conservation team has been awarded £50,000 to carry out research into cell salvage.

Cornwall's chief fire officer wins national award

I am delighted to see that Cornwall's chief fire officer Des Tidbury has been named Outstanding Leader of the Year at The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) national management and leadership awards, a well deserved honour.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Progress on unemployment

I welcome the news that, between June and August, the number of people unemployed in the UK fell by 50,000.

This shows that the Government is delivering on its promise to get Britain working. When the Coalition took office in May 2010 the percentage of 16-64 year olds in employment stood at 70.7%, that figure has now increased to 71.3%. This increase means that the number of people aged between 16 and 64 in work in the UK is now the highest since records began in 1979.

Whilst there are still too many people without a job, it is encouraging to note that the number of unfilled vacancies has also been steadily rising in recent months; there are now 476,000 vacancies recorded across the UK. As jobs are being taken by jobseekers, further jobs are being created by employers.

These promising national trends have been reflected in Cornwall, with unemployment falling in Truro and Falmouth compared to this time last year. Crucially youth employment has fallen significantly, with the number of unemployed 16-24 year olds in Truro and Falmouth falling from 455 in September 2011 to 405 in September 2012.

Whilst these are steps in the right direction, there is still no room for complacency. I will continue to do all I can to support local employers as they continue to create the jobs that will secure the economic recovery that we need.

‘How to Save Money on Your Heating Bills’

For the last two years, I have helped families to reduce their energy bills by producing a helpful guide entitled ‘How to Save Money on Your Heating Bills’, By working with charities such as Community Energy Partnership, the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Fal Energy Partnership, last year we were able to distribute 5,000 guides to local people.
 I have now produced an updated version of the free help guide which will be distributed by the Cornwall Rural Community Council as part of Big Energy Week on 22 October at Morrisons in Bodmin, and Tuesday 23 October at Tesco in Truro. You can also pick up a free guide at Citizens Advice Bureau in both Truro and Falmouth. You can also download a copy from my website or alternatively call my office on 01872 274 760 and ask for a copy to be sent in the post.

West Briton Column 18 October 2012

When I lived in Italy I came to appreciate a commonly held view that for things to remain the same, then some things have to change.  In recent weeks I have visited a number of organisations who are doing things differently in order to make sure they can continue to provide their life changing services to the most disadvantaged people in our community.

What all these local organisations have in common are a strong sense of purpose, open minds, and the ability to reach out and make common cause with other people in different types of organizations - from businesses, charities,  to our much valued public services as well as private individuals.

I have a lifelong interest in trying to help homeless people back into the community.  We are fortunate to have a number of organisations here who help people on this path.  Volunteer groups such as the Truro Homeless Action Group, who cook breakfasts every morning for homeless people, as well as professionally led charities such as St Petroc’s, who enable people to get themselves off the street and onto the next stage of their lives.  Last week I visited Glen Carne near St Agnes and saw firsthand the life transforming supported living opportunities which they provide to men of all ages on the final stage of the path, overcoming substance abuse, mental health problems or adjusting to life after prison.  They do this by providing person-centred support, advice and training for the men who live and work at Glen Carne.  From there, men are prepared for the next step into independent life, employment and helped to develop the self confidence that goes with contributing to society.

Some say that all people who work in businesses are only interested in making money, that companies cannot both create wealth and provide a public service, and that the private sector, in which they include not-for-profit companies, co-ops, mutuals and charities, should not provide public services.  What matters to me about any organisation that seeks to provide a public service are the values of the people who work in the organisation, their accountability to the public and the quality of what they do make a positive difference.

So, as Cornwall Councillors debate the future of vitally important public services for which they are responsible, I urge them to make their decisions based on evidence and for the common good of the people of Cornwall.

Like many people from here, such as Passmore Edwards, who have had the honour of representing people in Westminster, I believe that education, employment, equality of opportunity and hope for a better future are the rungs on the ladder out of poverty.  Cornwall Councillors and staff  have a great deal of influence in enabling people up that ladder and I hope in the days and weeks ahead they will put personal prejudices aside, embrace healthy debate and then agree what they can do together and with all others who want to make a positive difference for people in Cornwall.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

First Great Western receives Investors in People status

I am pleased to see that First Great Western has achieved Silver Status in the nationally recognised Investors in People programme for the work they put into the support and training of their staff. This follows their achievement of Bronze status in 2011.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Gary McKinnon

I am very pleased with the Home Secretary’s announcement that Gary McKinnon will not be extradited.

Fal Oyster Festival 2012

Last weekend saw another excellent Fal Oyster Festival, and I congratulate the Falmouth Business Improvement District team for promoting Falmouth so well. I have linked to some of the excellent national media coverage that the festival enjoyed below.

Monday, 15 October 2012

University of Exeter is Sunday Times University of the Year

I am delighted to see that the University of Exeter, which shares the Tremough Campus in Penryn with University College Falmouth, has been named University of the Year in The Sunday Times University Guide 2013.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Local pupils reach national Greenpower finals

I wish the pupils from the Richard Lander and Penair schools, who have already done tremendously by reaching the Greenpower national finals, the very best of luck in today’s competition

Friday, 12 October 2012

Sarah Newton raises concerns about aggression towards Westcountry fishing boats

It is unacceptable that Westcountry fisherman legally working in international waters have been subject to acts of aggression and intimidation.

I am pleased that the Government’s initial response to this incident has been robust and have now written urgently to the Minster at the Foreign Office to request further information on what actions will be taken to ensure that such aggression is not repeated.

It is crucially important that our fishermen are able to fish without fear of attack, as they continue to supply our shops and supermarket with the fresh, sustainable fish for which the Westcountry is famed.

The Phoenix Project

 I am delighted to see that the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) has celebrated the tenth anniversary of its youth and community engagement scheme, the Phoenix Project. This is a sterling example of the Big Society in action

During a ceremony at the Maritime Museum in Falmouth, fire service staff, partner organisations and past course participants gathered to mark the occasion.

Since 2002 more than 1,000 young people aged between 13 and 17 years old have taken part in courses at fire stations around Cornwall aimed at improving self esteem, communication skills and team work. Participants are then enrolled onto a six month mentoring programme with the Phoenix team.

During the celebration event, Des Tidbury, Chief Fire Officer of CFRS, spoke of his pride in the Phoenix team: “Cornwall was one of the first fire services to introduce the Phoenix Project, having witnessed a similar scheme run in Tyne and Wear.  Firefighters are great role models and the team work and self discipline our courses teach can help redirect what can often be challenging behaviour.

“Since 2002 the programme has gone from strength to strength and is a testament to the hard work of our dedicated Phoenix team. I am delighted we are able to celebrate the tenth anniversary – the programme has continually evolved over the last 10 years and has had a positive impact on the lives of many people.”

“The Phoenix Project fitted in with the needs of the school and, most importantly, the needs of our students” said Kerry Elliott, a teacher from Richard Lander School in Truro. “The first course we took part in five years ago, brought together a group of teenage boys who were heading in the direction of joining the ‘Not in Education, Employment or Training’ statistic when they left school. It was clear early intervention was needed.

“The course instilled an enthusiasm in the boys that I’d never seen before and this, and the follow up mentoring, led to improvement in grades and behaviour. Without the Phoenix Project, life would have been very different for this group of boys.”

One of the biggest cheers at the ceremony came for 15-year old Erin, a pupil from Richard Lander School, who spoke to the audience about a course she took part in, targeted at students who were in need of a boost to their self esteem.

“The thought of going on the course as the only girl with a group of boys was a horrible one and it was really hard working with people I didn’t want to work with,” said Erin. “As the week went on I realised I didn’t have any confidence and that I needed to control my emotions, especially when I was feeling nervous or angry. 

“I’m really glad I was able to take part in the course – it has made me believe in myself.”

The success of the project has led to a number of ‘spin off’ courses run in partnership with a range of organisations including Job Centre Plus, the Probation Service and Cornwall Council’s Children’s, Schools and Families department. Now the Phoenix team offer tailored courses for jobseekers and single parents. Courses are also run in partnership with the Probation Service to help set ex-offenders on the right path.
Carolyn Webster from Jobcentre Plus, which funds the ‘Phoenix Works’ courses for jobseekers, said: “Phoenix Works has become a great push that really adds to the support we can give people in their journey back to work. We see a dramatic change in such a short space of time with an increase in motivation and a desire to succeed.”

“The Phoenix Project is a great example of how organisations can work together to improve opportunities for people,” said Councillor Lance Kennedy, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for Community Safety and Public Protection. “Similar schemes run by other fire and rescue services have seen their funding cut over recent years due to the budget pressures affecting all public services. However, I am pleased CFRS continues to recognise the value of this scheme.”

The Friends of Furnis Island

I am looking forward to attending the unveiling of the Friends of Furniss Island Community Notice board on Saturday 20 October. More information on this can be found below

Thursday, 11 October 2012

'Just Play' Kickabout

 I am delighted to be attending the Mars FA ‘Just Play’ free kickabout  session on Saturday 13 October at Truro College. For more information this event, please see the link below

West Briton Column 11 October 2012

I am in touch with my constituents on a daily basis. From the emails and letters I receive, and from the conversations I have on the phone, at advice surgeries, in the street and in the supermarket there is one overriding message- times are tough.

With the full ramifications of the 2008 financial crisis still being felt in our economy people are feeling the pinch. In homes across Truro and Falmouth families are having to make their money go further than ever before, a task made more difficult by the high cost of living in Cornwall.    

Tackling these economic difficulties remains crucially important to me. I am pleased that this week the Government has re-affirmed its commitment to taking the hard decisions that will deal with the legacy of the 2008 crisis; ensuring that the legacy we pass onto our children and grandchildren is not a mountain of national debt, but a balanced and competitive economy. 

I welcome the Government’s ongoing determination to ensure that whilst those with the broadest shoulders bear the biggest burden as our economy is stabilised, hard working families and pensioners are protected as far as possible.

This week it has been announced that Council Tax will be frozen for a third year in a row, saving the average family another £70. Council Tax freezes come on top of changes to Income Tax that means that twenty five million middle and low income taxpayers will be saving over £360 a year. Two million people on very low incomes have been taken out of Income Tax altogether.

A cap on rail fares will also be imposed, so that ticket prices will not rise by more than 1% above inflation. Meanwhile the freeze on fuel duty is ongoing, saving the average driver £160 by 2013.

When times are tough, having to give less money to the taxman and spending less on travel can make a real difference to hard pressed household finances.

I welcome a continued focus on protecting pensioners and people living with disabilities. The basic State Pension had its biggest ever cash increase this year, rising by 5.2%. Disability benefits have also been increased by 5.2%.  

These measures are affordable due to the actions Ministers have taken to ensure that wealthier people are paying their fair share as efforts to reduce national debt are made. Changes to the tax system mean that the 1% of top earners in the UK, who earn 13% of all income, pay 28% of all total Income Tax.

I am also pleased that efforts are also being made to ensure that everyone who should pay tax does so, efforts estimated to raise £7 billion a year in additional tax revenues by 2014-15. As I know from a recent visit to HMRC staff much of the expertise that will be used to claw back unpaid taxes comes from Cornwall. 

This two-fold approach to the current economic situation, where people with low incomes are helped through the difficult times whilst the wealthiest play their full part in securing a prosperous future, has my full support.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Falmouth Oyster Festival

I encourage anyone interested in taking in some of the delicious sights, sounds and food of Falmouth to go down to the Fal Oyster Festival, which starts tonight and continues into the weekend.  More details can be found below.

Cornwall Food Festival 2012

 I want to thank the organisers of the 2012 Cornish Food Festival, recently held on Lemon Quay in Truro, for doing such a grand job at promoting what was clearly a very successful  event for all involved.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Passing out fire ceremony for Richard Lander students

 I am delighted to see the hard work of ten students from Richard Lander School recognized in a forthcoming ‘passing out’ on Friday 12 October during a ceremony at Truro Community Fire Station.

The official passing out parade will mark the culmination of the group’s learning during the five day Phoenix Project course. During the ceremony, held in front of family and friends, the group will showcase firefighting techniques, including hose running.

Run by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service since 2002, the Phoenix Project aims to improve young people’s self confidence, communication skills and community spirit.

Dave Pilling, Phoenix Project Manager, said: “Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service commits itself to developing skills for every child and these young people from Richard Lander School have shown great enthusiasm in all aspects of the course.

“As a fire service, we are able to use our reputation and position of authority and respect within the community to hone young people’s team work, communication and leadership skills. The students from Richard Lander School have worked extremely hard to gain their Phoenix Project certificate and ASDAN qualification.”

A county-wide initiative, the Phoenix Project is aimed at students between the ages of 13 and 17. Working with local firefighters, students are given a taste of firefighting and its traditions through hose running, wearing breathing apparatus (BA) and marching, as well as experience in problem solving, teamwork, life skills and fire safety.

Des Tidbury, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, said: “It’s great to see yet more young people learn not only how to become better communicators and leaders, but to learn a very important fire safety message at the same time. Initiatives such as Phoenix help us to achieve safer communities from the ground up, which is the principal aim of the service.”

For more information on Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, the Phoenix Project and fire safety visit

RCHT Foundation bid progresses

I am pleased to see that the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust’s application for Foundation Trust status has been green lit.

Monday, 8 October 2012

County's museums pioneer partnership

I am delighted to see the launch of this strategy, which will allow those involved to work together to create a strong network of diverse museums across Cornwall.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Friday, 5 October 2012

Stop the Strasbourg Circus!

Below is a link to Ashley Fox MEP’s e-petition calling for a debate on the necessity of needing two separate seats for the EU Parliament.  The enforced commute between Strasbourg and Brussels comes at an appalling cost to the taxpayer and the environment, and I feel that a debate does need to be called on this.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

West Briton Column 4 October 2012

Of all the issues I deal with on a day to day basis for constituents I know that one is of particular importance to everyone in Truro and Falmouth - our local NHS.

Last week some of Cornwall's community hospitals such as Falmouth had to close some beds. It appears that this is due to difficulties in staff recruitment. The NHS locally has been making real improvements so this is a worrying set back. I have asked local senior managers to keep me updated on their actions to ensure sufficient staff are recruited and retained.

In recent months concerns about the service provided by Serco out-of-hours in Cornwall have also arisen. Thanks to members of staff who bravely came forward with their concerns I was able to refer the service to the Care Quality Commission who are closely monitoring the implementation of the agreed improvements.

In order to ensure that such incidents are not repeated and improvements continue to be made a number of things need to be in place. Since my election, I have been pressing Ministers to address the historic funding gap that has in the past affected the health services available to local people. Some progress has been made with sustained increases in Cornish NHS budgets being secured; in 2011-2012 Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust benefited from a £27.5million budget increase and a further increase of £25.7million this year.

The Government has also provided additional funding for the most vulnerable people needing care - this year an additional £7.4million has been provided to Cornwall Council’s adult social care services. Nationally funding for research into how we can tackle the great social care challenge facing us, dementia, has been doubled. Meanwhile support for those at the frontline of dementia and other health conditions, the carers who contribute so much to their loved ones and to the rest of society, has been increased with an additional £400million of funding for carers’ breaks being put in place.

Whilst continuing to press for fairer funding I have also been working on giving patients more information and say in our local health services and ensuring staff are protected from fear of retribution if they report safety issues. Reforms that are currently being piloted in Cornwall will be implemented from April so that more decisions that affect patients in Cornwall will be made in Cornwall. Local clinicians have now formed the Kernow Commissioning Group, with powers to provide the services their patients need. The Cornwall Health and Wellbeing Board has seen the NHS, Cornwall Council and other organisations concerned with public health come together to secure better public health for local residents.

The health professionals I meet with are committed to their work, however, in order to continue to provide first class care they need to be enabled to take decisions on behalf of the communities they serve, and be supported by funding that meets local health needs. I will continue to do all I can to enable this to happen.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Seeking assurances on Great Western rail franchise

It is disappointing that the West Coast Main Line contract has had to be cancelled, leading to the suspension of bidding on all other rail franchises put out to tender. As affected franchises include the Great Western rail franchise I have today written to the Secretary of State for Transport to request further information on how the bidding suspension will affect the new franchise.

It remains vitally important that we secure the local rail services we need through the new Great Western rail franchise. I am pleased that the Government is examining in full the mistakes made in the West Coast Main Line contract, and I will continue to urge Ministers to do all they can to get the Great Western rail franchise right so that we can deliver the right rail services for Cornwall.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Truro Flood Defence Scheme

I was delighted to open the new Truro Flood Defence scheme last week which has transformed Lighterage Quay  and will be a real asset for the city

Monday, 1 October 2012

Vouchers for Schools

I was delighted to recently present Bosvigo Primary School, Archbishop Benson CE Primary School, St Mary's CE Primary School and Tregolls Primary School with vouchers for free sports equipment raised via the Tesco Vouchers for Schools scheme.

More information on this scheme can be found here