PUPILS at a primary school near Cirencester were ecstatic to find out that a group of thoughtful volunteers had made them a special reading hut for their playground.

The hut was gifted to Stratton Primary School by the team at the Men’s Shed in South Cerney, which was originally set up by non-profit organisation The Churn Project to prevent social isolation and provide a space where men could engage with each other.

Since the first Men’s Shed opened in April, participants have worked on a number of projects around Cirencester, with this being their first one for a school.

Teachers at Stratton plan to use the space to support reading for pleasure, and to encourage pupils to select a book and read at lunch or break time.

The reading shed will be officially opened by Cirencester mayor Sabrina Dixon in the upcoming weeks, with a new seating area to follow.

The Men’s Shed team, led by Graham Harris from The Churn Project, have spent months building the reading hut, with volunteer Andy undertaking the majority of the joinery.

All of the wood for the project has been provided by Cirencester building material supplier Travis Perkins and building firm Keir Construction which also gifted more than 100 books to help stock the new reading space.

Graham Harris said: ‘’It was great to see the children come running out with their books and sit and hold them up.

"We hope the hut will be enjoyed by many children for years to come. 

"Thanks to our generous supporters we were delighted to be able to give the children at Stratton School a fantastic new space to enjoy the magical world of reading.

"We’re extremely grateful for the support of these two businesses.’’

Teacher Barbara Cartwright said: "We are really excited to see the installation of our new reading shed.

"We are in the process of filling it with lots of lovely books, so that the children can take their love of reading into the playground with them at break times.  

"We want children to recognise that reading is a pleasurable experience that can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere."