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School children meet Tour of Britain mascot

Children with the Tour of Britain mascot Credit: Cumbria County Council

The end of the summer term is always special for school children and ToBi, the official mascot of the Aviva Tour of Britain, helped make it even more magical for two primary schools in Cumbria this week.

Yanwath School near Penrith and All Saints Primary School in Cockermouth are both on the route of the two Cumbrian stages of the big race in September.

ToBi visited the schools to encourage any last-minute entries in the ‘Design the starting flag’ and ‘Design the winner’s jersey’ school competitions, which closes for entrants on the last day of the school term.

The two local sponsors of the competitions, Cockermouth-based automotive engineering business M-Sport and United Utilities were also at the schools to mark their backing of the big race. Both M-Sport (starting flag) and United Utilities (winner’s jersey) will be involved in the judging, with the winners announced at the end of the summer holidays.

The two companies say backing the Cumbrian stages of the UK’s largest free sporting event is an important symbol of their support for the local community, as they recognise the economic and longer-term benefits the Aviva Tour of Britain brings to the county.

Standing from left to right next to the M-Sport rally car behind the seated children from All Saints Primary, Cockermouth are Mr Stretch (Active Cumbria performer), ToBi (Tour of Britain mascot) and John Hilton, Project Director from United Utilities Credit: Cumbria County Council

“Cockermouth will have never seen anything like the start of the Tour before and we’re excited to be getting behind the race. For me, there is no bigger adrenaline rush than being behind the wheel of a world rally car, and I’m sure it’s something similar for the cyclists at the start line of the Tour of Britain.

"I’d like to see the flag competition entries come up with a design that captures all of the excitement, energy and glory that comes with competing at the top level of your chosen sport.”

– Malcolm Wilson, former World Championship rally driver


Reading campaign aims to break record

The council is trying to get as many readers involved as possible. Credit: PA

Young readers in Cumbria are being encouraged to break a world record this summer.

Children between the ages four and eleven can get involved in the Summer Reading Challenge: they have to read six or more library books of their choice, over the holidays.

The theme is record breakers, and the organisers are hoping to receive a Guinness World Record Breaking number of pledges for the campaign.

Cumbria County Council is hoping plenty of local youngsters will get involved:

It’s not every day you get the chance to take part in a world record attempt, so I’d encourage as many people as possible to go along to participating libraries and join the reading challenge.

It’s a great way to encourage children to brush up their reading skills during the long summer holidays, and you can sign up for free at your local library.”

– Councillor Ian Stewart, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Libraries

You can sign up for the challenge:

  • Saturday 11 July, from 10am-12 noon, at Carlisle and Penrith libraries
  • Monday 13 July at Workington library (9.30am-2.30pm)
  • Kendal library (9.30am-11am)
  • Barrow library (9.30am-1.30pm)
  • Longtown library (11.15am-1pm)

Holiday makeover for Borders schools

Work is underway to improve several Borders schools. Credit: PA

Improvements to schools in the Scottish Borders are taking place throughout the summer holidays.

The projects - including security improvements and toilet refurbishments - are being led by an in-house team of architects at Scottish Borders Council, and will be carried out by local contractors.

It's hoped some of the work will be finished in time for the start of the new term, and that even if that isn't the case, the most disruptive work will take place while the children are away.

Work is currently taking place at:

  • Burnfoot Community School, Hawick – completion of nursery kitchen contract, accessibility improvements and internal courtyard redevelopment
  • Chirnside Primary – new and refurbished toilets
  • Cockburnspath Primary – provision of Early Years facilities
  • Coldstream Primary - provision of Early Years facilities
  • Eyemouth Primary – provision of Early Years facilities
  • Philiphaugh Community School, Selkirk - provision of Early Years facilities
  • Selkirk High – alterations to PE changing accommodation for new 2G pitch users
  • Stow Primary – perimeter security improvements related to the Borders Railway

Our architects team has put in a lot of effort and has communicated with its clients to ensure they are in a position to deliver these projects over the summer period.

They should be proud of their efforts which will improve facilities at eight Borders schools for a number of years ahead.

The public should also be aware of these works taking place and make sure they stay away from any of the construction sites.”

– Councillor Gordon Edgar, Scottish Borders Council

Library Membership...from birth.

The Scott Family enjoying a trip the Library. Credit: Dumfries and Galloway Council

A new generation could be visiting the local libraries in Dumfries and Galloway... from birth.

‘Every Child a Member’ is a national initiative led by the Scottish Library and Information Council which aims to enrol every child in the library as early as possible. The aim's to get children into reading from a young age.

Families will be offered a library membership when they come to register the birth of a new baby. Their new library card comes in a specially designed presentation card.

On the first visit to the library to borrow books, the family can exchange the presentation card for a brand new book as a welcome present from the Library.

One of our Council Priorities is to provide the best start in life for all children. Becoming a member of the library as soon as you are born is the earliest start possible!

We are now encouraging young babies to learn in early years. Mothers can come along to our sessions for babies in their local library.

We are continuing to engage with families to encourage more children to use and enjoy their local library and enjoy books.”

– Councillor Tom McAughtrie
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