Richardson donation means 500 children can enjoy day on canals
Work at Black Country schools may have been suspended by coronavirus but when the children finally return hundreds of them can look forward to a special day on the canals, thanks to the Richardson family business.
The Richardson Brothers Foundation – the charitable arm of the Oldbury-based family business – is backing the educational work of the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust, which will be open again later this month, to provide spaces for 500 children from 10 Black Country schools to take part in educational workshop days.
The £2,500 donation aims to provide places for underprivileged children who wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to take part in one of the days, which involves a canal trip through the local tunnels near the trust’s base beside the Birmingham New Road in Dudley, next door to the Black Country Living Museum.
They will also get to enjoy a day of workshop activities, learning about the industrial history of the Black Country and the integral role the canals played in the development and daily life of the area.
Megan Keary, heritage engagement officer at the trust, said: “The workshop activities will all link into the schools’ curriculum, so the children will be learning as well as having fun during their full day on the site.
“We have already been in touch with schools asking them to apply to take part, but obviously everything has been suspended during the coronavirus outbreak. But we will be hoping to have everything ready for when the children return to full-time education and organise the visits either later this year or into 2021.
“We often find the children have such a good time at our workshop days that they persuade their parents to bring them back time and again."
Megan added: “The support from the Richardson Foundation enables us to further our educational work and will also offer a wonderful opportunity to many youngsters to have an enjoyable day exploring the canal and learning about their industrial heritage.”
The business has grown to become one of the UK’s leading property developers and a multinational operation with investments around the world.
Founded by Roy Richardson and his late twin brother Don, the business is now run by Roy’s three sons Martyn, Lee and Carl.
Amanda Anderson, from the foundation, said: “We are delighted to be able to support the work of the Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust. As a business created here in the Black Country by a local family, Richardson is a huge supporter of the work of those raising awareness of this area’s industrial heritage.
“Anyone who has spent time on our canals knows how enjoyable it is and we were very keen to help provide the opportunity for schoolchildren to take part – particularly those whose circumstances might have prevented them from doing so ordinarily.
“We are helping the trust provide the kind of experiences that these children will remember for the rest of their lives.”
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