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School pupils open community shop in shipping container

Pupils at Dylan Thomas Community School in Swansea are the driving force behind a new community shop that has opened in a shipping container on school grounds.

The school has joined the Big Bocs Bwyd initiative – a network of “pay as you feel” shops that are starting to open in schools across Wales.

The idea is to make healthy food available to families on a budget to help tackle food poverty.

It also provides learning opportunities for pupils and increases parental and carer involvement in the school in a way that suits them.

Pupils from the school’s Derek Roberts Centre have been leading on the project including raising funds to stock the shop when it opened.

The school has areas where pupils will grow their own fresh produce that will then go on sale.

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The shop also has  an outdoor café area and the uniform exchange has also moved there so that parents can purchase recycled school uniforms.

Headteacher Paul Davies said: “Big Bocs Bwyd is something we have been working on for some time.

“We are all really proud of it and I would like to recognise all the pupils and staff who have been involved for their hard work in getting us to the position where we can open it.”

Mr Davies thanked the Big Box Bwyd Charity for recognising the school as central to its community and providing the units, Bluerock Construction for building the patio and pergola area, Bown & Hopkins for the electrical work and food suppliers Castell Howell and Bookers Swansea.

He added: “There are far too many people to list individually but that this has been a true community project in very sense and it is yet another proud day for the staff, pupils and wider community as it is there for them and available for them to use.”

The project was opened by the Lord Mayor of Swansea Graham Thomas.

Council Cabinet Member for Education and Learning Robert Smith said: “Schools in Swansea are at the heart of their communities and projects like Big Bocs Bwyd only serve to strengthen these ties.

“I’d like to congratulate everyone at Dylan Thomas Community School on this fantastic initiative that increases learning opportunities for pupils while benefitting the wider community.”

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