A PRIMARY school which helped families living in poverty could be in with the chance of winning an award to honour its efforts.

Oakwell Rise Primary Academy, Doncaster Road, is a finalist for the Best Community Group Contribution to Education or Employment award in the Groundwork Community Awards for the work staff have in done in the community.

Staff at the school deliver various activities to fit the needs of the community, including helping families living in poverty with food parcels.

Children can use the free breakfast club, where they are offered a breakfast as well as preparing for the day ahead with a range of activities.

The school also offers various learning opportunities for adults, including accredited literacy, numeracy and money management courses alongside CPR and lifesaving skills in partnership with Yorkshire Ambulance Service.

“We have done a lot of work within the community we serve and we ask them what they need and what will make their lives easier,” said head teacher of Oakwell Rise Primary Academy, Jessica Jenkins.

“The idea has evolved from a playgroup into something much bigger. We offer everything from adult learning to food banks to washing services.

“Our staff have been amazing and two members of our staff took part in Jamie Oliver’s Tesco Cooking School where they learned how to stop food waste. They were also shown how to cook using surplus food which is something we use within the school.

“Through our work within the community we have seen that the children are happier and are more engaged because they are fed and wearing clean uniforms,” said Jessica.

“Some of our parents have no fixed abode and when they move into new accommodation they often don’t have a washing machine so we provide a kitchen where families can come and cook and clean their clothes which makes a real difference.”

The school has been nominated for an award in the Groundwork Community Awards which were launched by the charity, Groundwork, to honour small community groups that are making a difference to the quality of life of people within in their community.

“We have been shortlisted into the final three out of 750 schools and I am really proud of the staff and volunteers who helped to make this happen,” said Jessica.

“Winning this award would mean so much to the team and to be recognised for work they love to do with families. This would empower and motivate them even more to impact even more families.”

The Groundwork Community Awards will take place at the Royal Horseguards Hotel, Westminster, London on November 21.