WHEN a west Northumberland school needed additional resources, it reached out to its local community for help.

And Bellingham Middle School’s call was widely heard, as generous businesses offered a helping hand to the benefit of the school’s students.

If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, its the value of community spirit and kindness, and its heartening to hear there’s no shortage of that in the North Tyne!

The Hexham Courant’s Bouquet of the Week feature celebrates special citizens who have made a significant contribution to their communities.

And this week, we are delighted to award it to not one, but four individuals, namely Annabel Stanners, John Bassett and Terry and Charlotte Brown.

When tasked with fundraising for new reading material, Bellingham Middle School’s committed Parent Teacher Community Association went to local traders to ask for their help in covering a portion of the costs for new books.

Treasurer, Annabel Stanners, agreed to approach North Tyne businesses, but only after donating part of the money herself, from her own business, Low Chesterhope Produce.

John Bassett, chair of the recently refurbished, community-owned hub, The Gun Inn, in Ridsdale, also dug deep, having no problem in agreeing to help the school with its needs.

And Charlotte Brown, of Bellingham Country Store, went one further, agreeing to fund all of the money requested, meaning more books could be bought.

It was an easy decision, after Charlotte said she wanted to “put something back into the community after they were there for them during the lockdown period.”

Despite having faced uncertainty in recent times, the school is going from strength to strength with new headteacher Mrs Hamilton at the helm.

In 2018, the school was threatened with closure as part of a review of education provision across west Northumberland, but was saved after a schools adjudicator overturned the council’s decision following a campaign by parents and villagers.

The Bellingham Middle School Parent Teacher Community Association was set up in 2019 to transform the school facilities.