A team of 13 Cheshire-based teachers and members of the local business community is set to embark on a journey of more than 4,000 miles to visit a school in Kenya.
The team, which includes Alison Hooper, head teacher of Egerton Primary School in Knutsford, Jill Adams of Northwich-based family bakery Roberts Bakery and James Occleston, a 5th generation member of the Roberts’ family, will spend 10 days visiting partner school Egerton Primary School in Njoro, Kenya.
Alison Hooper and Lindsay Occleston Roberts – a 4th generation Roberts’ family member and mum to James – are members of the Egerton Schools’ Foundation, a charity which aims to maintain a solid partnership between the two schools. The foundation has secured a £6,300 grant from the British Foreign Schools Society to help fund a new library at the school and employ a librarian for a year. To boost the new library, the team will also take out a selection of books, which have been donated by pupils of Egerton Primary in Knutsford.
Jill Adams, occupational health nurse at Roberts Bakery, will be teaching the school’s 10 to 14-year-old pupils about the potential health effects of child-bearing at a young age. Jill, who has been a nurse for 40 years and has worked for Roberts for 20 years, is fulfilling a life-long ambition to travel to Africa and work with youngsters from less fortunate backgrounds.
She said: “This is a trip of a lifetime for me and it is a privilege to have the opportunity to make a really valuable contribution to the lives of these children. I’m really looking forward to using my 40 years’ experience in nursing to talk to the pupils about the serious implications of child-bearing as a teenager, but in a very poAlison Hooper added: “This trip will build on the many years of hard work that we have put in to establish links between the two schools and to make real improvements to the lives of the children in Kenya. This year, I am really proud that the Egerton Schools’ Foundation has secured the funding to develop the library – a vital resource that will help to foster the love of reading in the children.”
The school in Kenya is linked to Egerton Primary in Knutsford, which was established by Lord Wilbraham Egerton of the Tatton Estate in 1893. His nephew Maurice Egerton, founded the link school in Kenya in 1939. Amazingly, the two schools did not know about each other until 2005. Since then, Mrs Hooper has worked tirelessly to forge strong links between the schools through project work and exchange visits. This trip to Kenya is the biggest and most ambitious exchange visit yet.
The team flies out on Saturday 6 February for its 10-day mission.
Roberts Bakery started out in 1887 as a modest grocery store which sold freshly-baked bread to customers in its hometown of Northwich in the heart of Cheshire. Now, more than two million loaves a week can be seen rotating in the iconic cooling towers at the front of the bakery. The company delivers to customers throughout the north of England, north Wales and the Midlands. For four generations, the Roberts family has continued the skilled tradition of baking fine bread, with members of the Roberts family still actively working for the business.