During lockdown, The Holgate Academy approached Ashfield District Council to see if we could take part in any upcoming events to help raise spirits and promote wellbeing during the pandemic. Our creative arts faculty organised a very successful arts auction which raised over £1000 for Young Minds, so this was the next step in helping the community.

The council were very keen to work with local schools to create memorial benches for those who had passed away during the pandemic. We used this brief as part of our creative identity projects as we explored the important historical moments that Hucknall had experienced.

Our students worked hard at home on this and created a series of entries that not only highlighted what we all went through, but also visualised our hope and gratitude through the use of the NHS rainbow and clapping symbols.  Four of these benches were commissioned and will be placed around the Ashfield district;  the one pictured is in Hucknall, and the photograph shows the Academy’s Principal Mr Pennington and four of our prefects at the unveiling ceremony this week.

Well done to our students, who showed exceptional resilience over lockdown and determination to help others during this difficult period, and thanks to the late Councillor Jim Blagden who made this  project possible; it’s very fitting that the bench was dedicated to him.