WITH many families staying home, it can sometimes be difficult to remember that schools are still open for key workers.

Teachers up and down the country are continuing to put themselves at risk of contracting coronavirus by coming to work - and many are going above and beyond to teach their pupils in these difficult times.

The Hexham Courant launched its bouquet of the week feature in April to recognise the achievements of people helping others in their community.

This week, the award goes to the staff team at Shaftoe Primary School in Haydon Bridge.

The school was nominated by the Haydon Bridge Covid-19 Community Care Group. Hayley Turner explained why they chose to shine a light on the team.

She said: “The community group responds to lots of different requests from members of the Haydon Bridge community for help, and as lockdown progresses, there are more and more requests.

"Last week, the group received a particularly poignant request from a single parent family who were literally choosing between heating and eating, and the parent had chosen not to eat in favour of heating and her children eating.

“One of the co-ordinators of the group, who is also a parent of a child at Shaftoe school happened to mention this to the school secretary, Danielle MacClean.

“The next day, the group received a phone call from the school asking if we could make use of some food which was going to go out of date and would otherwise be binned.

“John Turner went to collect the food, expecting two or three carrier bags at the most, but was overwhelmed to receive enough food to make seven hampers for people most at need in the community.

“Shaftoe Primary school, like all schools, are working extremely hard to provide education both within and outside of the school grounds and are doing an amazing job. For the staff to take this time and care to ensure people within the community do not go without is above and beyond the call of duty.”

The school's new headteacher, Julie Phazey, sees the school as the heart of the Haydon Bridge Community.

She said: "We felt we were in a position to help. I've tried to acknowledge it's a villageschool at the heart of the community.

"We just had some there left over between giving out food parcels and moving over to the voucher scheme, and we just thought why not?

"It was an opportunity to do a lot of good for people who are really in need. Everyone is struggling at the moment.

"It was really nice to be able to help, but I can't take any credit - it was Danielle in the office's idea.

"I hold my hands up to my staff, they've been guiding me."

"It's fantastic to be nominated, it's brilliant. Helping other people makes you feel good."