Bedhampton nursery children exploring the great outdoors thanks to climbing equipment donated by Havant Men’s Shed

NURSERY children are experiencing the joy of outside play thanks to ‘amazing’ climbing equipment contributed by a Havant social club.

Friday, 24th June 2022, 1:11 pm
Updated Friday, 24th June 2022, 1:12 pm
Havant Men's Shed have built St Thomas More's Nursery School in Behampton, new climbing equipment for the children to support their physical development and social skills after the pandemic. From left: Maximus Davison (four), Samuel Minnis (four), and Harrison Hill (three). Picture: Sarah Standing (240622-877)
Havant Men's Shed have built St Thomas More's Nursery School in Behampton, new climbing equipment for the children to support their physical development and social skills after the pandemic. From left: Maximus Davison (four), Samuel Minnis (four), and Harrison Hill (three). Picture: Sarah Standing (240622-877)

Havant Men's Shed have built new climbing equipment for children at St Thomas More's Catholic Primary School and Nursery to support their physical development and social skills after the pandemic.

The project is ongoing, with about four volunteers from the local men’s shed creating the outdoor equipment for the children.

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Back, from left: Havant Men's Shed Leigh Watton, Phil Hebblethwaite, Mike Skelton and Cavan O'Beirne. Front, from left: Blake Boyce (four), Amelia Guedeney (four), Sarah Hennessy, nursery teacher, Ezra Lindley (four) and Max Takacs (three). Picture: Sarah Standing (240622-855)

Sarah Hennessy, nursery lead and teacher, said: ‘More of the children are wanting to go outside and play now, because they can climb on things.

‘Some of them are stuck in a high rise flat or don’t have a garden, and this really helps both their physical development and their social development.

‘They can make dens, help each other walk along the bridges, and learn how to take a risk by climbing on things.’

The school and nursery, located on Hooks Lane, Bedhampton, has 31 children ranging from the age of two years and nine months to four.

Winnie Johnson (three) and Harrison Hill (three) on the new climbing wall. Picture: Sarah Standing (240622-863)

Sarah, one of a team of six nursery practitioners at St Thomas More's, said: ‘We’d like to say a massive thank you to the men’s club - these resources would have cost us so much money, and we wouldn’t have been able to afford them without their help.

‘Schools are really struggling for money, and we’re really grateful.

‘The stuff they make is so good, the children really appreciate and value having the equipment.’

Rather than payment, Havant Men’s Club simply asks for a donation so they can continue their community work.

Pictured is: Maximus Davison (four). Picture: Sarah Standing (240622-881)

Sarah added: ‘We all say how amazing it all is, and it’s encouraging even the children that usually don’t want to go outside to go and have a play.

‘There’s so much research to show the benefits of outside learning for children, and they can learn more than on the inside while getting their heartbeats up, getting some exercise and fresh air.’

St Thomas More's Catholic Primary School and Nursery will have spaces for children upcoming in September, and Sarah asks for parents to get in contact.

She said: ‘We are teacher-led, I am a qualified teacher. We specialise in getting children ready for school.’