Pupils at St Colman’s Bann have green fingers thanks to grant

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Banbridge primary school pupils have expanded their environmental awareness thanks to an educational funding initiative delivered by Lurgan firm Interface.

Pupils and teachers from St Colman’s Bann Primary School in Laurencetown paid a visit on Friday September 26 to the carpet tile manufacturer’s Silverwood factory to demonstrate how they put their grant to good use.

St Colman’s is the latest school to benefit from Interface’s annual ‘Sponsor A Teacher’ project, which sees the company provide a grant of £650 to help local schoolchildren expand their knowledge of ‘green’ issues. The project is part of the worldwide Interface Environmental Foundation (IEF), which was created 20 years ago as part of the company’s commitment to sustainability and has since provided funding of over £200,000 globally.

The ‘Sponsor A Teacher’ scheme provides Interface employees with the opportunity to identify a teacher who takes responsibility for environmental issues in their school and to nominate them for funding.

The school, led on their visit by teacher Orlaigh McMeekin and classroom assistant Sarah McGrath, invested the funds to establish a gardening and outdoor club with projects to grow local fruit and vegetables and create a wildlife area.

Linda Glass, HR Manager, Interface, said: “It was a real pleasure to welcome the schoolchildren along with their teacher and classroom assistant to our Lurgan factory on what is known as our ‘Green Apple Day of Service’. It was fantastic to hear and see how much the school, and in particular the pupils themselves, have benefitted from the gardening project which was made possible by the Interface funding. We are already on the look-out for teachers/schools to sponsor during this school year and are receiving nominations from our employees.

“Interface is on a sustainability mission, which we call ‘Mission Zero’, to eliminate any negative impact our company has on the environment by the year 2020. Today’s school visit marks the end of ‘Mission Zero Week’, an initiative organised at all of our worldwide plants to encourage employees to be more responsible about the environment.

“The series of events has included sustainability training and health and wellbeing promotion sessions for employees, all of which have been enjoyed in our new Mission Zero lounge.”