Back to School Boost for Cedar Integrated Primary School

Cedar Integrated Primary School has warmly welcomed a funding boost from Phoenix Natural Gas enabling the school to bolster its reading resources.

With book sharing between pupils no longer possible due to covid-19 mitigations, the school has utilised the funding to invest in new books as well as access to an online reading platform that will enable pupils to continue their reading at home.

Principal of Cedar Integrated Primary School, Hilary Crichton explains: “It’s been great to welcome our pupils back safely this month and we are delighted that support from Phoenix Natural Gas has enabled us to replenish our reading books and also offer access to a new platform to ensure children can continue reading at home.  These additional resources are hugely important in helping us provide a blended curriculum where we can support individual pupils or indeed whole classes when required to self-isolate.”

Phoenix Natural Gas has been supporting communities across East Down as it extends access to the natural gas network to 28,000 consumers in the area.  Speaking about their corporate social responsibility activities Jonathan Martindale, Director of Business Development at Phoenix Natural Gas says: “A fundamental principle for us in extending access to the natural gas network across East Down is being a responsible citizen and adding value to the communities we operate within.

“Reading is important for so many reasons in children’s development and we are delighted to play a small part in helping Cedar Integrated Primary School develop their reading resources and invest in solutions to provide learning for pupils when self-isolating.”

Business in the Community NI (BITC NI) facilitated the introduction of to the school as part of its Time to Read Programme which brings business volunteers into schools in a group environment where they read on a one-to-one basis with children.

Time to Read Programme Executive at BITC NI, Ciara Mulgrew says: “Time to Read is all about encouraging children to read for pleasure and to enjoy books.  Through reading children can unlock their imaginations and learn about different characters and circumstances all of which helps them with wider school work and build resilience. Last year, we were delighted to have almost 450 Time to Read volunteers from businesses right across Northern Ireland, including Phoenix Natural Gas, supporting this important literacy programme, and hope to see the same level of support in the new academic year”

Full details of Phoenix Natural Gas’ Responsible Business Programme can be found at:

Further information on Time to Read from Business in the Community NI can be found at: