Maths help adds up for Melton pupils

Sherard pupils with, from left  Melton Foods volunteers Hayley Staff and Sue Spreckley, Sherards Helena Blumfield and Samworth Brothers Alex Knight

Sherard pupils with, from left  Melton Foods volunteers Hayley Staff and Sue Spreckley, Sherards Helena Blumfield and Samworth Brothers Alex Knight

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Pupils at two Melton primary schools are to get a boost to their maths skills thanks to 18 volunteers from Samworth Brothers who will play numeracy games with them each week.

The workers from Melton Foods, Kettleby Foods and Brooksby Foods are to start as ‘Number Partners’ after the half-term holidays, at Sherard Primary and St Francis Primary respectively.

‘Number Partners’ is a project run by Leicestershire Cares, which brings business volunteers together with primary schools keen to bring extra encouragement and enjoyment to maths.

Before half-term the Melton Foods volunteers visited Sherard Primary to meet the staff and the Year 4 pupils they will be learning and playing games with. The board games, designed to increase children’s confidence with numbers, were donated by Samworth Brothers.

Hayley Staff, Melton Foods personnel officer, is the company’s ‘Number Partners’ team leader. She said: “I had a lot more colleagues volunteer than I expected. They all want to get involved and make a difference.”

Introducing the volunteers to the children aged eight and nine, Helena Blumfield, Sherard’s assistant head, said: “You are all going to have lots of fun and learn at the same time. It’s interesting that every one of the volunteers say they use maths in their jobs. It important to understand that maths is not simply a lesson, maths is a skill for life.”

Samworth Brothers’ group chief executive Alex Knight said: “Samworth Brothers is proud to support ‘Number Partners’. We are excited to be given the opportunity to get involved with the schools in our local community. This is a great initiative and I am personally also looking forward to being part of our team.”

Alex told the children: “My favourite teacher at school was my maths teacher. He enthused me about maths and I have used maths all through my career.”

Samworth Brothers and its businesses are long-term supporters of Leicestershire Cares’ projects. Teams of volunteers have taken on Cares challenges to improve the premises and gardens at charities and community groups. The companies regularly support Cares’ Collect for Christmas Appeal, donating gifts for local charities to present to people in need.

Dozens of staff at Samworth Brothers give mock interviews to secondary school pupils, to help prepare them for their first work or college interviews. Cares’ Employability Project sees Brooksby Melton College agriculture students spend time with the food businesses.

And young people leaving care have been given an insight into the world of work at a Samworth Brothers factory through Cares’ Flying Fish initiative.

Joanne Hudson, ‘Number Partners’ co-ordinator at Leicestershire Cares, said: “Samworth Brothers and the countless volunteers from its businesses have a hugely positive impact across so many of our projects.

“We are delighted they are now joining Number Partners too. It was impossible to tell who was more excited when they met – the volunteers or the pupils. They are all looking forward to learning whilst having a great time.”