A FAMILY run estate agency in Cross Hills says despite the coronavirus pandemic, it has still managed to raise£1,350 for schools in its area.

Michael and Helen Leighton, owners of Leightons Estate Agency in Main Street, have been raising money for their 11 local schools ever since they started the business in 2018.

Every time they sell a property, they put money in a fund, and at the end of the academic year, they divide it up amongst the schools. In their first year, they raised £555, and this year, they more than doubled it with £1,350.

“We are a family run business and have two boys that attend Eastburn Primary School and South Craven,” they said. “We are passionate about our children’s education and understand how funding doesn’t always come easy to schools. With fund raising being a major factor in updating the schools much needed resources we really want to give something back to all schools in the South Craven area.”

In the last few months, Mr and Mrs Leighton say they been doing home schooling for their own two children, and like so many others, have found out how hard teaching is.

“The last six months have been hard on everyone and those with young kids, like Helen and I, have had to do their best at home schooling. That was tough. It’s safe to say that we have got an even higher level of respect for teachers now. I’m sure everyone can agree what a truly amazing job they all do,” said Mr Leighton.

“We might have brilliant schools in the area and excellent teachers too, but funding doesn’t always come easy and with schools having to close early there has not been a chance for those summer fairs to help bring in money for their much needed resources. I’m sure that that it has been a loss that they have felt.

“As it has been such a rubbish end to the academic year we’re even more pleased to be able to report that this year we are donating a total of £1,350 to our local schools.”

“We couldn’t have done that without our customers, and we thanks all of those who have asked us to help move home in the last 12 months and thank you all of your continued support.

“We’ll be dropping off the cheques to the schools at the start of the new school year. Let’s hope that next year we can donate even more.”