A pre-school has secured its future thanks to a commercial sponsorship deal with a radio-controlled toy and gadget company.
Jack and Jill Pre-school, in Shelford Road Hall, Milton, has joined forces with Bladez Toyz after it faced a steep increase in rent, cuts in funding and higher staff costs.
This meant that for the first time in its three-decade history, the pre-school needed to look beyond its own fundraising to survive.
Help came from mum and international account manager of Bladez Toyz, Emma Costello, who has forged a three-year deal between her company and the pre-school her child attends.
Pre-school manager Debbie Roberts said: ‘With so many new financial pressures facing us for the first time, we have had to explore other ways of bringing in much-needed money.
‘Our rent has almost doubled, funding for staff training has been cut and we’re facing extra costs through pension contributions and the new national living wage – there was only so much we could do with our own fundraising and that was no longer enough.
‘It’s therefore a pleasure and a privilege to join up with Emma and Bladez Toyz.
‘Given the relentless pressures on the public purse, the company’s wholehearted support has secured the future for the medium term, meaning we can continue providing invaluable pre-school learning to our wonderful children.’
As Jack and Jill’s sponsor, Bladez Toyz is providing funding for new computers and a new online resource so the pre-school and parents can record a child’s learning journey.
In addition, it will be providing the youngsters with new equipment and a range of its remote-controlled toys.
Emma said: ‘It is a fantastic pre-school and I am honoured we are able to support it in this way. I have a little boy at the pre-school and I see first-hand how brilliantly the staff interact with both the children and us parents.
‘It’s very hands-on and, most of all, cares so much for our children – they really put them first.
‘By sponsoring Jack and Jill we are supporting this wonderful place of learning to continue providing a first -class service to the children of Milton.’
Jack and Jill is a registered charity and is rated ‘good’ by Ofsted. The school, which still has places left for September, is based on the site of Meon Infant and Junior schools.
It provides learning for up to 50 two to four-year-olds. Jack and Jill employs eight part-time staff and is run by a committee, which also oversees fundraising.
Bladez Toyz was founded by Portsmouth entrepreneur Iain Morgan, 38, and employs 18 people.