National Friendly is supporting Stories at Home, a Bristol City Council initiative which provides vulnerable families and disadvantaged pupils with access to books in their own homes during the Covid-19 lockdown, with a £1000 donation to Cabot Primary School based in the St Pauls area of Bristol.

Kurtis Reece, PR & Corporate Partnerships Executive at National Friendly says, “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to step in again and help at Cabot Primary School. They serve a diverse community with nearly 90% of their pupils speaking English as an additional language. Since 2017, we have maintained a long-term partnership with the school.

As part of our ethos, we have been enthusiastic about getting involved in projects which will help shape the future for young people.

The Covid-19 pandemic has really shone a spotlight on schools, disadvantaged children and the children of key workers with the government announcing the phased return of children to school from June 1st, leaving four year groups who would not be returning before September.

National Friendly’s £1000 donation will buy books, but it will also fund vital school equipment such as paper, pencils and pens, to help support all the school’s pupils who have returned to school and the families of the pupils who are continuing their education from home.”


Head Teacher at Cabot, Tom Burton, is delighted with the news. “Children (and adults) at Cabot love reading. Our library is the heart of our school and we know that many of our families rely on the school and local libraries to feed their appetite for great books. It is wonderful to know that the children are getting books of their own to read and share with their families this will enable them to support their learning and bring some joy in these difficult times. Teachers at the school can’t wait to hear what the children think of their new books.”

Ablaze Bristol, Primary Project Manager Catherine Correia said, “National Friendly is enthusiastic about getting involved in beneficial projects with Cabot Primary their Ablaze partner school, which will help to raise pupils’ confidence and aspirations. Although, National Friendly’s volunteer reading buddies are unable to read with their pupils at the moment, this generous donation will help to support the attainment and skill levels and make a difference to the lives of local people. It is a wonderful example of a great partnership and strong collaboration.”

Debbie Miles, Teaching & Learning consultant for Bristol City Council added, “Books are such a vital tool in every young person’s life. They really do unlock doors, inspire and support as well as enhance the learning for children in a fun and effective way. This donation from National Friendly will provide books which will go on giving, year after year.”

Ablaze Bristol introduced National Friendly to Cabot Primary School in February 2017, as the school needed help to raise the literacy attainment levels of pupils struggling with their learning/reading. National Friendly are always looking to provide enrichment opportunities for the children, including trips to the M Shed Bristol Museums Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition and The Bristol Hippodrome.