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Oscrete employees head back to school

Michael and Keiron Todd of Oscrete with Participate Projects' Jill Taylor and Lower Field Primary pupil

Employees of concrete admixture manufacturer Oscrete, based in Bradford, went back to school to work on the grounds at a local primary school where two of the staff started their education.

Brothers Michael and Keiron Todd attended Lower Fields Primary School in Bradford between 2001 and 2011 and are both now concrete technicians for Oscrete. In May 2024, they returned with four colleagues to make improvements to the outdoor play space they had once enjoyed as children.

Oscrete's headquarters is just half a mile away from the school and the team spent the day creating raised beds for the pupils’ home-grown vegetables, repainting playground equipment and making benches in the outside story telling area.

Michael said: “I’ve lived in this area all my life and it’s nice to be able to give back to the community and make it better for the younger generations growing up. It was great to go back to our old primary school and see how the place has changed over the years and talk to the pupils to give them an idea of how they progress from school life into a career.

“We both enjoyed refurbishing the outdoor areas with the Oscrete team and I think we did a really good job bringing some life back into these areas so the children can enjoy and make the most of it. It was also really nice to spend some time with my mum who works there as a teacher and for her to meet the people Keiron and I work with! Overall it was a really positive day out and we all really enjoyed doing something practical that helps to make a difference.”

The team’s activities on the day were co-ordinated by Participate Projects, an organisation which partners schools with businesses to enhance learning and life lessons.

Coordinator Jill Taylor said: “Our Venturists programme helps businesses to support young people through projects, challenges and visits. We help school pupils and students have the opportunity to create and deliver social action projects, so working with businesses like Oscrete helps them see the value in supporting our local communities.

“As well as working on repairs and making improvements to the play space, Michael and Keiron really led by example by volunteering their time to help the school. This left the children feeling inspired themselves to take action and help their community too.”

Lower Fields Primary headteacher Rebecca Stansfield shared that while the school’s outdoor area is wonderful and a place where the children love to learn and explore, due to budget and expertise, the team struggles to maintain all of the equipment. “The hard work and skill set from the volunteers has enhanced several areas of school for our children, and we are looking forward to using these areas more now. I do hope we can work with Oscrete and Participate Projects again in the near future to further support our community," she said.

Director of Oscrete Scott Wilson shared his thoughts on the work: “It’s important to our team to be a good neighbour and support our local community. Through The Venturists programme we’ve already offered our time to judge childrens’ social responsibility projects in a Dragon’s Den style but this is the first chance we’ve had to involve the wider team in an activity bringing immediate and tangible results. It was great to meet the pupils themselves and we are delighted to have made a difference to the school’s facilities.”