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Caol Primary School pupils were counting the proceeds of crime last week, thanks to Fort William-based publishing company Zertex Media Limited and its locally-set DCI Logan crime fiction series.
Shortly after the Christmas break, the company’s directors, Fiona and Barry Hutchison, reached out to local schools to offer help in funding the cost of laptops to help pupils who are currently studying at home.
Although the schools they contacted had sufficient supplies of technology, Caol school’s acting deputy head Kerry Lamont identified a need among some families for paper, pens and other schoolwork supplies and immediately set to work acquiring all the materials she’d need.
Working with other staff at the school, Ms Lamont put together 67 learning packs filled with a range of materials and quickly arranged their distribution.
‘With so many families struggling financially due to the coronavirus situation and having to prioritise spending, we felt the packs were a great resource for our pupils, giving them access to vital supplies without adding further financial burden,’ said Ms Lamont.
The packs, which were distributed last week, will also include resources to help pupils look after their mental health, something which teachers feel is important with the current uncertainty and isolation.
‘We’re absolutely delighted to be funding such a fantastic initiative,’ said Zertex Media director Mrs Hutchison. ‘Readers across Lochaber have been huge supporters of JD Kirk’s DCI Logan series, which we publish, so we were keen to put something back into the community.
‘All credit goes to Kerry and other school staff who have worked so hard to pull the whole thing together.’
Once all the packs were distributed, any leftover supplies were made available for collection from the Co-op in Caol on a first-come, first-served basis.
Since 2019, Mr Hutchison, by then an already well-established author of books for children and science-fiction comedy for adults, started penning Scottish crime fiction under the pen name JD Kirk.
The most recent in the series of novels about detective DCI Logan, A Death Most Monumental, has proved another hit with his fans.
‘Team Caol’ outside the Co-op where children were able to pick up ‘study essentials’ including pens, pencils and other stationery. Photograph Iain Ferguson, alba.photos
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Barry Hutchison, who writes his crime fiction under the pen name JD Kirk.
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