Bikes, trikes and little legs did their bit

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FUNDRAISERS have got off to a flying start in Barnham.

The Squirrel’s Den Pre-school is helping to raise funds to help pay for a new building which will be their new home.

The building would be the second phase of the village’s new community centre.

Squirrel’s Den’s manager Kim Edwards said: “We do not have a set target that we want to raise. We just want to do the best that we can.

“The new building would be a dedicated building for the pre-school. It would allow us to open longer hours, and it would mean we wouldn’t have to pack our equipment away after our session.”

Kim said the new facility would also provide a great outdoor area for the youngsters.

“We would be able to have a mud area, vegetable patches and a place to feed animals and birds,” she added.

The new building would also have a kitchen.

Their first fundraising event was a sponsored walk around Murrell’s Field on July 19, with some of the little ones toddling, some walking, and others on bikes and trikes.

Kim said: “It was great to see the children making their way around the field. Even in the heat, some of them managed two laps, which one parent told me is a mile.

“A lot of the parents have been very supportive too. Bringing in cakes and raffle prizes, it has involved the community.”

Kim said they were planning to hold similar events at the end of every term on top of other fundraising efforts.

Since May the pre-school, which has 36 youngsters aged from six months to five years, has operated out of the new community hub which officially opened in the same month.

Squirrel’s Den opened to accommodate the children who had attended the Barnham Pre-school, which was run out of the old hall.

The hall, which was around 30 years in the making, has involved a huge section of the community with Barnham Leisure Amenities Development Enterprise (BLADE) and the parish council leading the way.

Kim said: “The new community hall is great and we are glad to be part of it. We had to tender for our place here, so by helping to raise some of the funds needed for phase two which includes the dedicated pre-school, it is our way of giving something back.”