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Museum classroom gets community makeover from IKEA

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THE old classroom at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery has been given a ‘Changing Rooms’ style makeover by staff from Warrington’s IKEA store as part of their 30th anniversary celebrations.

The Scandinavian retailer – which opened its first UK store in Warrington back in 1987 – has installed some of its best-loved products, including Billy Bookcase, to give the classroom, built in the 1960s, a facelift fit for the 21st century.

The IKEA team have provided new tables, chairs and blinds with an array of storage solutions and IKEA accessories for a busy classroom.

The renovation project is part of IKEA Warrington’s thirtieth birthday celebrations. The furniture-giant appealed to local education providers, charities and community groups earlier this year for the chance to win a ‘done in a day’ makeover.

Culture Warrington, the charity which runs Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, was its chosen project. They facilitate educational workshops for more than 8,500 local school children each year, as well as providing weekend and school holiday activities for vulnerable families.

Andrea Morley, fundraising manager at the charity, explains the impact the makeover will have: “Our children’s education and holiday programmes are currently oversubscribed and the layout and facilities within our classroom space, where we deliver the programmes, meant there were limitations to extend them.

“But thanks to the help of the team at IKEA Warrington, we will now be able to offer more activities in a bright, fun and interactive space that supports the education needs and wellbeing of local children.”

As part of their team development activities, the makeover was carried out by co-workers from IKEA Warrington, who used their design expertise and home furnishing knowledge to create a comfortable space similar to the setting of many homes in the town.

They worked with classroom architects to design a classroom that creates an inspirational learning space and have taken inspiration from the publication ‘Space for Learning, originally published by a consortium including the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, the Department for Education and Skills, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and others.

Mike Hawkins, store manager at IKEA Warrington, said: “We want to play our part in creating a better life for the people and communities close to our store.

“Whilst we work on a global level to improve the lives of adults and children in developing countries, we also want to be a good neighbour in our local communities.

“The ‘done in a day’ community challenge is one way we’re making a difference to those who live locally.”

Maureen Banner, chair of Culture Warrington, added: “We are thrilled to be IKEA Warrington’s chosen charity for this project.

“The new classroom area will benefit so many local people, including school children, teachers, families, young carers and young people with disabilities, who visit the Museum regularly, and support them to achieve their fullest potential.”

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

1 Comment

  1. Brilliant – I went to IKEAS community volunteers evening with Teddy George and the Burtonwood Sewing Group and we networked we 9 other groups – enjoyed Paul’s Quizz, entered the table top competition. To think all this was going on whilst I was across the road in Museum Street working on the Warrington Visually Impaired People’s Tranquility Courtyard with my paintbrush for company.

    Paul’s a great guy and more power to his elbow to get things done in WA. I think that we will be throwing our hat into the ring but mine has frozen at the moment.

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