Caretaker’s abseil to decorate school interior

Caretaker’s abseil to decorate school interior

9 May 2018

A CARETAKER is planning to abseil down the front of Belfast’s Europa Hotel to raise money to paint the interior of his primary school in Ballynahinch.

Glynn Robinson (41) will be stepping over the edge of the iconic hotel next Sunday, May 20, complete with safety helmet and harness, hoping local people and businesses will weigh in with their support for his fundraiser.

He was appointed Ballynahinch Primary School’s new caretaker last August and with no Education Authority money available to paint the inside of the building, Glynn decided to raise the cash himself.

His niece, Tayla Robinson, is a pupil at the school and leaves at the end of next month. Glynn is hoping that when the other pupils return from their summer holiday, the school’s interior will be spic and span, having been given a fresh coat of paint.

Education officials have provided money for a new roof at the Croob Park school, which contractors are currently fitting out, but with no extra cash to paint inside of the building, Glynn has stepped forward to help.

He has already raised £500 and has launched his own Just Giving Page. He is hoping that parents, former teachers, local businesses, individuals and groups will donate money to what he described as a “very worthy cause” for one of the oldest schools in Ballynahinch.

Soccer loving Glynn – who is Newcastle FC’s first team coach — plans to paint the inside of the school himself and would love to be able to have the work completed before the new school terms gets underway in September.

He said: “The inside of the building is in dire need of a facelift, but this costs money. The cash could be taken from the school’s own budget, but that would mean less money for the pupils and their education. 

“If I can raise the money for the paint and do the work myself, it will mean the school’s budget can be used for the benefit of the pupils which is the most important thing. I would rather see the school’s money spent on the children than on maintenance.”

Glynn says he hopes the fundraiser will be successful and is grateful to people who have already pledged money on his JustGiving Page.

“It is said everyone does something stupid in their life and maybe this is my moment,” joked the caretaker. “Stepping over the edge of the Europa is certainly daunting, but it’s for a really good cause. That’s the most important thing.

“I think it’s over 20 years since the school’s interior was last painted so it could do with a freshen up. The front entrance was recently painted, but it would be nice to complete the job inside.”

Glynn said school principal Michael Moore, teaching staff, the Board of Governors and Parent Teacher Association work tremendously hard on behalf of pupils and he wants to play a small role by ensuring the school gets a fresh lick of paint.

“Schools do not have a lot of spare cash and that is why I decided to do the abseil. I thought why not give it a go and next weekend I will be literally stepping over the edge. I would really love to be able to raise around £3,000 to buy the paint and hope local people will support my efforts,” he said.

He  added: “Every penny is going to count and the bottom line is that the more money I raise, the more I will be able to paint. Hopefully, there will be enough money to do all the work that is necessary. The support to date has been great and I really hope I can reach my target.

“I hope former pupils and teachers will support the event for a school which many people have fond memories of. I am really hoping that when the current pupils come back after their summer holidays the interior will be bright and welcoming.”

To make a donation visit Glynn’s JustGiving Page.