MORE than 1500 people turned out in the spring sunshine to support an East End school’s “unforgettable” community fun day.

Pupils, parents and teachers at Mount Vernon Primary staged the event to support families in the wake of the pandemic and ongoing cost of living crisis.

Around 600 people received a free meal on the day.

Glasgow Times: More than 1500 people turned out on the day

“We had an amazing day,” said Jennifer Allen, chairperson of the school’s small but mighty parent council.

“The sky was blue, the sun shone over our school and it was an unforgettable community event, probably the biggest ever organised in the area.”

She added: “It was a real privilege to be able to give back to our local community.”

Glasgow Times: Parent Council members Jennifer Allen, Gillian Stewart, Lynne Smith and Corinne McHenery

The parent council started planning the fun day two years ago.

“We got a wonderful new headteacher, Mrs Jen Watson, who spent time with the pupils, developing new school values, and one of these was ‘community’, something that was all the more appropriate after the Covid era,” said Jennifer.

Glasgow Times: Blaine Stewart and Ceitidh Cumming with their Taylor Swift themed stall

“We spent many years unable to host large events which traditionally brought together pupils, parents, carers and the wider community. 

“We were also all too aware of the cost of living crisis and the fact that families are struggling to fund even the basics.”

The determined parent council successfully applied for a substantial grant from Lottery Awards For All Scotland for the fun day project, which was led by Lynne Smith and Corinne McHenery.

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“We wanted it to be absolutely free, not just for our school, but for our wider East End community,” said Jennifer.

“We decided we would feed our community and provide entertainment for free.  We paid for a food truck to provide good quality food, our local Tesco in Shettleston provided 150 pieces of free fruit, and we booked and paid for a petting zoo, face painters, balloon modelling and a wide range of inflatables so our guests had plenty of free entertainment.”

Entertainment included the school choir and dance group, local cheerleading groups and popular band The Real McKay, plus former pupil Jessica Allen, who performed a Taylor Swift set. 

Glasgow Times: Jessica Allen, 20, former pupil of Mount Vernon Primary performs a Taylor Swift set

Many of the school’s senior pupils made goods to sell, with former pupil Annissa Lung, 13, and current primary seven Rebecca Allen, 12, raising a fantastic £200 for the Beatson Cancer Charity. 

Glasgow Times: Annissa Lung (former Mount Vernon pupil, 13) and Rebecca Allen, 12,  raised £200 for the Beatson

Headteacher Jen Watson, depute head Victoria Collins and teachers Lindsey Cullen and Michael Hopgood gamely agreed to take part in a “Soak the Teacher” event with children paying £10 to throw a whole bucket of water over them.

“We raised thousands of pounds thanks to the generosity of our community,” added Jennifer. “These much-needed funds will be put to great use by our school. 

Councillor Thomas Kerr and MSP John Mason attended the fun day.

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Mrs Watson said: “We are so incredibly lucky to have such a committed and proactive parent council, who give up so much of their own time to support the school.

“In Mount Vernon Primary we believe that ‘Together Everyone Achieves More’ and that shone through on Saturday. The team of parents, pupils , staff and families who came together to put on an event, which benefitted our whole community, was wonderful to see.”

Councillor Thomas Kerr said: “I was delighted to attend and show support, it was amazing to see so many from the community turn up and enjoy the sun. This is the sort of event we need in the East End of Glasgow, so here’s to next year being bigger and better.”

John Mason, MSP, said: “It was a great opportunity for the wider community to come together and enjoy mixing with neighbours as well as the school family itself.

“I hope it can be repeated in future years and that other areas will follow Mount Vernon’s example.”