Buster and Buddy build safety message

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Normal lessons were ‘paws-ed’ when schoolchildren in Harrogate were taught how to stay safe near housing developments by two special visitors from Redrow.

The firm’s health and safety mascots, Buster Bear and his apprentice Buddy, popped in to St Robert’s Catholic Primary along with staff.

Redrow’s HS&E manager Laura Catterall said: “Construction sites can often seem like exciting places to children but they are far from playgrounds, and we want to help children understand that but in a fun and interesting way.”

Teacher and school deputy head, Maggie Newby, said: “It’s not just around construction sites where it’s necessary. We have an old building near to our site which hasn’t been used for a while. It is important children understand the dangers so they can stay safe.”

As well as listening to the talk, some of the children were able to try on safety equipment.

In addition to the Buster and Buddy visit, Redrow presented St Robert’s with a cheque for £300 as a thank you for allowing Redrow chairman Steve Morgan to land his helicopter in their school grounds during site visits.

The money will buy an extra iPad for the school to support learning across the curriculum, in particular maths and English; and for both teachers and pupils to take and annotate photographs.

Maggie said: “iPads are a useful working tool to enhance the curriculum and make it easier for some children to access it. We have one for each classroom but an additional one will be really useful.”

She added: “It was near home time when Mr Morgan landed his helicopter and so there were both parents and pupils in and around the school grounds. It was all a bit surreal watching this helicopter landing on the school field with everyone looking up at it – it was like an ET moment!

“It was very exciting and, as you can imagine, it was the talk of the school for days after; and now, after the Buster and Buddy visit, the children in Year 2 have been inspired to build their very own ‘Redrow Builder’ snowman!”

A similar amount of £300 was donated to nearby Harrogate High School for earlier visits there.

Devonshire Gardens is a collection of more than 120 homes near the Ainsty Road school, the majority of which are from Redrow’s Georgian-influenced Regent Collection.