Award to fund well-earned facelift’

MUCH-needed renovations at a village pre-school, which has served its community for 27 years, have received a boost thanks to a £5,000 award from the National Lottery. Needingworth Community Pre-School needs to raise more than £30,000 to finance a buildi

MUCH-needed renovations at a village pre-school, which has served its community for 27 years, have received a boost thanks to a £5,000 award from the National Lottery.

Needingworth Community Pre-School needs to raise more than £30,000 to finance a building project which will completely transform the premises.

In November 2004, inspectors from education watchdog OfSTED gave the pre-school a glowing report in terms of children's care, but highlighted the need for a larger, refurbished kitchen space to ensure children's safety and well-being.

Since then, the voluntary committee which runs the pre-school has examined the possibilities and a feasibility study, funded by Cambridgeshire County Council, costed the work at £33,605. This will include a new kitchen, toilets, cloaking room and storage area.

Fund-raising began in earnest 12 months ago. Some £12,900 has already been collected, including the grant from the lottery's Awards for All, with more than £3,000 from local residents and businesses.

Chairman of the pre-school committee, Sarah Hazel said: "We are looking to raise as much money as possible to allow us to go ahead with the improvements. At the end of this month, we can then apply for matched funding for up to £18,500 from the council.

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"This is an opportunity for us to enhance the children's environment and be more flexible with our activities and facilities."

She added that the pre-school room deserved a "well-earned facelift" after nearly 30 years in service. Fifty children are currently on the books, with a maximum of 20 in each session.

INFORMATION: Fund-raising continues with a children's Valentine disco this Friday (February 10) and a fashion show on March 15. For details or to donate to the pre-school project, call Sarah Hazel on 01480 466645.

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