A community rallied around to help a pre-school which was devastated by a flood in the summer to re-open its doors in time for the start of the new term.

Houghton and Wyton Preschool devestated by floodHoughton and Wyton Preschool devestated by flood

Children attending the pre-school, in Green Lane, had to find alternative accommodation while a rescue effort was launched by the management committee and a team of willing volunteers.

Two months on, and having worked tirelessly throughout the summer, the pre-school opened its doors again for the start of term, welcoming dozens of children.

Averil Mullarkey, a member of the management committee, said the team had been overwhelmed by the generosity of volunteers who had helped get the pre-school back on its feet.

She said: “The response from the community really surprised us. It was a really difficult time for us but the silver lining in the rain cloud was the amount of support and the way in which everybody pulled together, even former parents and people from different areas.”

The transformed Houghton and Wyton pre-school.The transformed Houghton and Wyton pre-school.

The flood is believed to have been caused by a faulty sprinkler which, on June 19, was triggered by the heat inside the building. However, the sprinkler failed to open correctly and pressure built up, causing it to burst.

Staff were able to save some of the equipment and essential information but much was lost, including 500 books and two computers, prompting an appeal for help by the management committee.

Averil said: “We had lots of donations after our appeal. People donated laptops, toys and books, and we also had a smartscreen so the pre-school is looking fabulous.”

Averil added that the pre-school had received help from dozens of people, including current and former parents, members of the public, Houghton and Wyton Parish Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, and MP Jonathan Djanogly. Sawtry Pre-school Playgroup also made a large donation to the appeal.

The transformed Houghton and Wyton pre-school.The transformed Houghton and Wyton pre-school.

“It was a huge joint effort by everybody and we can’t thank them all enough for their help,” said Averil.