Fund-raising drive for village pre-school

Wylam Pre-school playgroup leader Michelle Gardiner (right) with deputy leader Emma Bacon.
Wylam Pre-school playgroup leader Michelle Gardiner (right) with deputy leader Emma Bacon.
10 April 2017 1:51PM

FORCED out of its building for a month, Wylam Pre-school has celebrated its return.

In February, the play group was told to leave its home in the Falcon Community Centre after a large chunk of plaster fell from the library ceiling.

Though a survey found the nursery ceiling to be in good repair, at the beginning of March the pre-school was told to move out on health and safety grounds.

No longer within its registered premises, Wylam pre-school lost out on thousands of pounds of Early Years Funding.

And temporarily housed at Wylam First School, the play group was unable to offer morning sessions, and its register dropped from 15 children to just five.

But after being informed by Northumberland County Council that they could move back into the premises, last week children and staff enjoyed their first session back at the centre.

Pre-school leader Michelle Gardiner said: “We’re really pleased to be back in the building; it’s such a relief. But the damage has been done with the finances.

“Most of the children have come back, but a few have settled in other play groups and we wouldn’t expect parents to drag them out again.”

To begin to recoup the thousands lost and keep the pre-school afloat, a fund-raising event has been planned for April 29. And a crowdfunding page has seen local residents and parents pitch in with donations.

Michelle, who works alongside Andrea Matthias, Emma Bacon and Lauren Jewitt,said: “The nursery has been running for 50 years. I love working in Wylam with the parents and the lovely children, and find it really rewarding watching them progress.

“The whole community has been very supportive. People have been very, very generous.”

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