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Cheltenham headteacher delivers lunches to pupils homes

A secondary school headteacher is delivering packed lunches to children on free school meals by push bike after pupils were sent home last week due to the coronavirus.

Richard Gilpin, headteacher at Pittville Secondary School, in Cheltenham, said this was a way of helping out “in the interim” until a voucher system comes in place from next week, adding his staff have been “terrific” in responding to the pandemic.

He said him and his team have delivered around 30 packed lunches a day while the sun was shining in the first week of the UK-wide lockdown.

Schools in England closed on March 20 except for looking after the children of key workers and vulnerable children.

From next week parents of children who receive free school meals and attend Pittville Secondary School will receive food vouchers to shop at local supermarkets.

Keen cyclist Richard Gilpin said: “My staff have been terrific in the way they’ve responded to this.

“They’ve been  really keen to help out, bringing food in and putting these food parcels together. They’ve done that off their own back so it’s really nice, and they’ve enjoyed it.”

He continued: “We know we’ve got some families who need support in providing food for their children,

“We’ve kept our kitchen open this week and we’ve done some packed lunches for those families.

“If they wanted to come in and collect the packed lunch then they could at the school gates.

“But for those families who haven’t been able to, myself and a colleague did a delivery in the mini-bus on Monday.

“I’ve been cycling around delivering packed lunches for the rest of the week to a handful of families, it’s been nice to see the parents at the doorstep.”

By Leigh Boobyer, Local Democracy Reporting Service

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