TODAY is the start of Volunteers Week, running from June 1 to 7. Each day we will highlight volunteers in Eastbourne.

First, we spotlight the Friends of Parkland School- parents volunteer group.

FoPS is a group of enthusiastic parents organising many special events throughout the year to raise money for different special additions to the school.

We organise school Discos, Fireworks Night, Christmas events, Summer Fairs, which brought funds for an outdoor classroom, a huge trim trail with new outdoor gym equipment for the children amount many other things. For Christmas and Easter we offered gifts and treats for the children to enjoy.

During this last challenging year, we were not able to organise as many events, but we wanted to create something special for the school.

We know how important it is to protect the environment and we came up with the idea of making an outdoor mural using plastic lids, for which we used more than 6000 lids plastic caps and lids. We were overwhelmed with the lids donations coming from the children, teachers and the school staff, and as well with a large lids donation coming from Morrisons.

Parkland School is aiming to become a green school and we’re trying different fun ways of recycling unwanted plastic waste. The school has been awarded Silver Eco School status and we came up with the idea of creating this mural for the children and teachers to enjoy, but also to raise awareness of the impact plastic has on the environment.

The mural represents the knowledge children can discover through reading and the importance of keeping our planet clean. There’s a big book open in the middle and lots of different topics are coming out of it, as a smiling Earth and a colourful rainbow are taking the central point. We used eco friendly materials such as plywood for the base and recycled paints.

We hope this project will inspire other schools to create their own recycled art. As far as we know, our mural is the first of its kind in the Eastbourne area. It took me more than 60 hours to complete, but it’s been a fun challenge. It has 6 m in length and 1.20 m in height.

FoPS is planning more exciting eco projects and fun activities for the children, including one more plastic lids mural for the Juniors’ playground, with the message Celebrating Friendship.

Cristina Staicu