Busy Otters pre-school bags £10k grant to begin playground project
PUBLISHED: 11:45 31 January 2018
Youngsters at Busy Otters Pre-School will have a new playground sooner than expected after it won a £10,000 grant from the National Lottery.
The school, in Longdogs Lane, has been trying to raise £13,500 to replace its nearly 20-year-old wooden climbing frame and improve access to the garden area.
Staff found out they had been successful in their bid just before Christmas and hope that work to install the play area can start over February half term.
The funding will also cover the costs of rebuilding steps to the pre-school’s garden, soft tarmac ground cover, an outdoor storage cupboard and playground markings.
Veryan Young, chair of trustees, said: “We were surprised but delighted to hear of this award. There are countless benefits of outdoor play and these have a real positive impact on children’s lives.
“This award will help us embrace the outside and improve the children’s pre-school experience.”
“There are some children who do not have gardens, so it will make a massive difference to have proper play equipment and it will allow us to share the love of the outdoors with the children.”
The pre-school is now working to raise the remaining £3,500 of the project and is already half-way there after holding successful cake sales, raffle before the new year.
On January 13, parents took part in a DIY SOS day by painting the outside area, building a playhouse and kickstarting the garden renovations; a similar event is being planned in April.
It is hoped that the final stage of the project will begin in the summer term with an official opening of the new area in July to mark the pre-school’s 30th birthday.
Veryan added: “It would be brilliant it [to have the play equipment]. At the moment it is pretty much a big patch of tarmac, and because we are a community charity rather than a commercial pre-school, we have social mission to help support with early years learning in the community.”
The pre-school’s next fundraiser is a quiz night at The Institute on February 24. Teams of up to six people can enter for £4 a person. The quiz will start at 7.30pm.