Youngsters at a top nursery are making the most of their brand new toys thanks to a generous lottery grant.
Boys and girls at Langstone Community Nursery in Copnor, Portsmouth are enjoying a massive wooden pirate boat, mini gazebo, garden table with parasol, toy cars, scooters and bikes among a host of new equipment that has brightened up their play area.
The charity-run nursery, which won outstanding Ofsted reports twice in a row, had for years been struggling to raise enough funds to give it a badly-needed makeover.
So when deputy manager Karen Crowe filled out a form for more than £7,300 to renew its facilities both indoors and outdoors, she was thrilled to get a positive response.
She says: ‘It is absolutely amazing, we’re so grateful for the grant. We’re an outstanding nursery and now we have outstanding facilities in every sense.
‘We tried going down the fundraising route with raffles and sports days, but £7,000 is a pretty big sum and we couldn’t expect people in these difficult times to part with a lot of money.
‘So the grant couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s given us all a real boost and the children and staff absolutely love the new facilities.’
The money has also covered the cost of new tables and chairs indoors, a ‘snug’ area with a settee and comfy chairs for the children to nap, a laptop and toys to enhance curriculum topics such as toy astronauts and shuttles to bring ‘space’ to life.
Walls of the nursery have also been decorated in shades of purple and lilac thanks to a generous donation of paints from a parent.
Mrs Crowe says: ‘Because we didn’t have many resources in the past we were very restricted with our choice of curriculum topics, but now we can do what we like.
‘All of this is for the children who deserve the best. We weren’t greedy with our bid, we just asked for enough to cover the cost of the things we needed.
‘I’m thrilled as I honestly didn’t expect to get the money. It was hard work filling out all the forms and I’m glad there was a positive result.’
The nursery, which was The Stacey Pre-school before it moved to its current home at Langstone Infants about six years ago, has 65 children aged between two and five years on roll.