School pupils and staff recognised for Heysham explosion support efforts
Pupils and staff at Bay Leadership Academy have been praised by the National Schools Commissioner for their actions following a devastating gas explosion in Heysham.
Two-year-old George Hinds was killed and four others were injured in an explosion in May that destroyed three homes in Mallowdale Avenue.
In the aftermath of the tragic incident, caring staff and pupils at the school pledged to offer practical help and support to those who had been affected.
Pupils and staff prepared meals and hygiene packs, washed bed linen and towels for those who had been evacuated and provided food and drink for emergency services workers.
Staff from the school also manned special community outreach centres to offer emotional support. The school arranged for pupils who had been affected by the incident to receive specialist counselling.
Dominic Herrington, the National Schools Commissioner, wrote to principal Colette Roberts to commend the school’s work.
In his letter he said he was “heartened” to hear about the role the school had played during the crisis.
He said: “At times such as these our schools play a vital role in supporting their local community.
“I was heartened to hear about the important role that you and your team at Bay Leadership Academy played in supporting your community during this difficult time.”
Colette Roberts said that the letter was very much appreciated by staff.
She said: “First and foremost our thoughts continue to be with those who have been so tragically affected by this terrible incident.
“On hearing of the explosion, our wonderful and caring pupils, parents and staff were keen to offer support in whatever way they could.
"As principal of the school, I could not be prouder of the kindness and maturity of our pupils who scrambled to meet the desperate need of people who had been affected by the explosion.
“Throughout the pandemic, our school has been offering support to vulnerable people in the local area. This meant that we were able to quickly mobilise our resources to offer help to those who had been affected.
“We all very much appreciated having our efforts recognised by the National Schools Commissioner and we will continue to work for the good of our local community.”