Year 2 pupils from Cabot Primary School were lucky enough to pay a visit to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at MShed, thanks to National Friendly, Bristol Museums and Ablaze.

The children enjoyed a fantastic morning exploring the MShed museum (the big bus was very popular!) and getting a guided tour of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. For many of the children, this was their first visit to MShed. National Friendly CEO Jonathan Long was there to meet the children and their teacher Sarah Quinton.

Karen MacDonald, Engagement Officer at Bristol Museums, lead the pupils’ tour of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition and said, “the class are a lovely group, full of interesting questions and it was great to see them enjoying M Shed”.

Cabot Primary School is located in St Pauls, Bristol and is rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted. The school is in an area with high levels of deprivation, with over half of the pupils at the school being eligible for Pupil Premium.

National Friendly is a mutual society based in Bristol whose aim is to help their members meet their health, welfare and protection needs; they are sponsors of this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at MShed.

Staff from National Friendly volunteer at Cabot Primary School through Ablaze’s Reading Buddy scheme, which partners business volunteers with pupils for one-to-one reading sessions. Reading Buddies aim to encourage primary pupils to read more, read better and be more confident in their ability. In 2017/18, all pupils at Cabot Primary School with an Ablaze Reading Buddy felt their reading had got better and they were reading more confidently. A volunteer from National Friendly commented, “I noticed a general increase in confidence, and the ability to communicate better with adults”.

The trip was organised by Kurtis Reece from National Friendly with help from Sally Ridley at Ablaze, and National Friendly were kind enough to pay for the coach travel for the pupils to ensure that the whole class would be able to attend. Kurtis, a Marketing Executive at National Friendly, said, “It’s important that we create new experiences for children where they can continue to learn and be inspired. With our support, these children can express themselves freely and gain more confidence in their overall learning abilities”.

Ablaze is a registered charity which wholly relies on business support & donations to be able to continue its work across Bristol & South Gloucestershire supporting young people with their learning. If your business would like to get involved with volunteering, or to fund raise or donate to this worthy charity, please email to find out more.


National Friendly CEO Jonathan Long (third from right), along with (left to right) Dawn Carey of National Friendly, Caroline Booth-Morris of Bristol Museums, Sally Ridley from Ablaze, Cabot Primary School teacher Sarah Quinton, Bristol Museums Engagement Officer Karen MacDonald and Kurtis Reece from National Friendly.