Students’ bespoke birdboxes help paint picture for Riverfest

Art students from Medina College have applied their creativity to paint eleven chic bird boxes for the local community as part of Riverfest, being
held on Saturday 17 May in Newport.

The Southern Co-operative is supporting Riverfest, which celebrates the heritage, community, businesses and wildlife associated with the River Medina. A team from the Island’s Co-operative Funeralcare branches, part of The Southern Co-operative, will have a community stand at Riverfest.

Jo Gibson, Funeral Co-ordinator at their Ryde branch explained: “The Southern Co-operative is committed to being a responsible and sustainable business
and actively involved in the local community, so supporting Riverfest makes a lot of sense. We asked Medina College to have some fun with us decorating
bird boxes and these will be on our stand at Riverfest for visitors to judge their favourite.”

Visitors to the stand will also be invited to try their luck on the chocolate tombola and hamper raffle; children can have their hair braided and face painted too. There’ll also be plenty of information about The
Co-operative Funeralcare’s community activities and fundraising for local good causes on the Island.

Jo added: “Following Riverfest, some of these beautiful bird boxes – each one an original piece of art – will be put up in local cemeteries and we’re
donating one to the garden at Medina College. We’ll also be selling some on The Co-operative Funeralcare’s stand at Riverfest to raise money for our charity.”

The bird boxes were made by volunteers at the Riverside Centre’s wood workshop. Riverfest, a free community event organised by The Footprint
Trust, is in Newport on Saturday 17 May from 11am-3pm.


The Southern Co-operative is an independently owned regional Co-operative
Society based in southern England with over 250 community stores and
funeral homes across Berkshire, Bristol, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of
Wight, Kent, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex and Wiltshire.

The Southern Co-operative has been awarded a 2* ranking as a benchmark of
responsible business from BITC (Business in the Community) for achieving a
score of 79%, reflecting the work undertaken to develop its new
Sustainability Plan.

Community involvement is paramount to the ethos of The Southern Co-operative and includes fundraising for local charities, supporting environmental and community owned organisations, volunteering and working
with local food producers.