Pupils coin it in as wishes come true at Eagles Meadow

Eagles Meadow in Wrexham have donated the money collected in their water feature to local primary school St Giles. PIctured: Centre Manager Kevin Critchley with a team of pupils from St Giles with some of the many coins collected


Schoolchildren have been re-enacting scenes from a famous Hollywood movie at a shopping centre in North Wales.

However, it wasn’t so much a case of Three Coins in the Fountain for the pupils of St Giles School but more like thousands of pennies in the water feature at Eagles Meadow in Wrexham.

Shoppers and visitors to the shopping centre have a habit of throwing coins into the water feature at the top of the Spanish Steps.

In the 1954 romantic comedy film people throw coins into Rome’s Trevi fountain in the hope that their dreams come true.

The water feature at Eagles Meadow was turned off for the afternoon while the pupils from St Giles’ got their wellies on and collected all the coins thrown in by shoppers and visitors.

Eagles Meadow manager Kevin Critchley told them they could add all the coins they managed to retrieve to school funds.

Kevin said: “We turn off the water every six months or so and get the coins out so they don’t hamper the smooth running of the water feature which is a popular meeting place within the shopping centre.

“In the past we have handed the coins to St Giles’ Primary School so staff and pupils can clean and count them before adding them to school funds. We have no idea how much is in the water feature this time and it will take quite some time to dry and clean the coins before they can be counted.

“However, we thought it would be a good idea and a challenge to allow pupils access to the water feature so they could recover the coins themselves. They have certainly seemed to enjoy the task and I’m amazed by just how many coins they have found.”

He added: “It’s been lovely meeting staff and pupils from the school and I hope the money they bank from the exercise will make a difference to pupils by perhaps funding some extra curriculum activities such a few bowling sessions here at Eagles Meadow.

“Of course it is, however, entirely up to the school how the money is used. I am just pleased the money is going to a local school and will benefit children.”

Deputy head Andrea Weeks took 13 children and six staff along to Eagles Meadow to tackle the task.

She said: “It has been a special treat for the children and they have absolutely loved it. Once the money is cleaned and counted we will be using it toward the school’s Good to be Green reward system.

“The system encourages positive behaviour. Children have to remain in the green zone by collecting points for good behaviour and good work. We then use the money to provide a treat such as trip to the cinema or bowling or even a DVD evening.”

She added: “It’s wonderful that Eagles Meadow have donated this money to the school and we can assure Kevin Critchley and the management team that the money will be put to very good use.

“I know a lot of mums and dads of our pupils shop at Eagles Meadow so it’s fantastic that the shopping centre is giving something back.”

Teaching Assistant Laura Smith added: “The children have absolutely loved it and all really enjoyed it. And they have worked exceptionally hard; of course they all want to collect the most!

“It’s been a new experience for them and a very practical exercise.”

Pupil Kieron Pugh, 10, says he really enjoyed collecting the coins.

Keiron, who wants to be a professional footballer and play for Arsenal, said: “It’s been really good fun. There are buckets full of money, it’s great!”