News and events News Supporting the community in a challenging year The Mayor of the West Midlands recently made a special visit to a school in Coventry to find out more about its links in the community and hear first-hand how it has been dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Andy Street visited St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, part of the Romero Catholic Academy, where he spoke to the children about his role and heard more about how the school has been supporting its local area during a challenging 2020. He also found out how it has been dealing with the coronavirus outbreak and the measures that have been put in place to help stop the spread of the virus. Andy was joined in the visit by Eleanor Deeley, deputy managing director of the Deeley Group which has strong links with both the school and the wider Academy. As part of a tour of St Patrick’s, Andy was shown Martin Curtin Room which was built by the Deeley Group at a highly reduced cost after the company found out that the school was in need of additional space to support some of its most vulnerable children. The room, named after well-known construction worker Martin Curtin who worked for the Deeley Group for 58 years, has a range of uses including safeguarding meetings and support sessions, parent meetings, interventions and SEN (special educational needs) sessions for the children. Andrea Sherratt, Principal of St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School, said: “It was a privilege to welcome Andy Street to the school and it was lovely to see him speaking to the children about what he does. “He was also really interested to hear how we have been coping during the pandemic and the measures we have put in place, such as the class bubbles, PPE, reconfiguration of classrooms, the removal of the majority of soft furnishings and our remote learning methods. “We were also able to show him some of the huge Christmas hampers we have made up for families in need across the area and chat about the work we are doing to support those less fortunate. “Whenever we ask for donations for worthy causes we’re always overwhelmed by the generosity of our school community so it was excellent for Andy to see this. “We also spoke to him about how we and the wider Romero Catholic Academy have developed a strong relationship with the Deeley Group. It is a collaboration between two large employers in the city, and they have been hugely supportive of us. “It was our first time welcoming Andy to the school, and we hope to see him again in the future.” Andy said: “It was brilliant to visit St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School and meet with a number of children and staff members. “It has been an extremely challenging year for schools throughout the Midlands and right across the UK, so it was good hear first-hand about how the school has adapted as a result of the pandemic and overcome a number of challenges. “I was also very interested to hear more about the school’s relationship with the Deeley Group and visit the Martin Curtain Room, an area which is of huge importance at St Patrick’s. “It’s clear that the school and the company have a very strong sense of community spirit which was excellent to see.” Photo caption: From left to right: Eleanor Deeley, Andy Street, Shanice Mbontie (6), Andrea Sherratt (Head teacher), Oliver Halys (9), Danielle Kingham (Deputy Head).