Norwich mums dive into school pool project

Opinions may have been split over David Cameron's Big Society idea recently, but a Norwich primary school's hard working volunteers have been praised by a leading politician.

Three mums dived in to the refurbishment of Eaton Primary School's swimming pool and their commitment to the cause has led to them being presented with special certificates by Norfolk Labour MEP Richard Howitt.

Teachers and governors were so impressed with Donna Newby, Jenny Howe and Louise Fisher's commitment and dedication that they invited Mr Howitt to present the trio, from the Eaton area, with official European Year of Volunteering awards.

The European member of parliament donned a pair of overalls and picked up his paintbrush to join pupils in decorating pictures of fish, crabs and sea horses to form an underwater backdrop to brighten up the pool surrounds.

The mums explained to Mr Howitt how they arranged for groups of volunteers to come to the swimming pool to paint the changing rooms, toilets and entrance hall.

Work started during the recent half-term school break at the end of February, with filling, plastering, rubbing down and painting the walls.

Barclays Bank donated �500 to pay for the paint and in total 29 volunteers put in 210 hours of work.

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Mr Howitt, who highlighted the Eaton Primary School project at a high-level European volunteering event in London, said: 'In these difficult economic times, schools can't splash out but Donna, Jenny and Louise jumped in at the deep end and are making a huge difference.

'Everyone I have spoken to is really pleased by the work and say that it will make going for a swim at the pool even more attractive. It's great when everyone pulls together – this shows Norfolk at its best.'

Have you been involved with a successful volunteering project? Call reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email