Community races to save Chieveley Preschool from closure
A group of parents are fighting to save a local preschool from closure.
Back in January, parents were told Chieveley Pre-School faced closure unless it could secure urgent funding.
Concerned by this outcome, they formed a voluntary committee and reopened the preschool on February 20.
After a tough year, staff report the pre-school has grown from four to 18 children — but say there is still a long way to go.
East Ilsley resident, Jill Hobbs, volunteers as the secretary at the preschool, which her son currently attends.
“It’s busy and it’s getting busier all the time,” she said.
Sharing her reaction to the announcement earlier this year, she added: “They had been struggling to get a committee together and then all of the staff handed their notice in on the same day.
“They had an extraordinary meeting and we all went to find out what was going on.
“The meeting was to vote to close it properly and we thought we would see if we could keep it open.”
Mrs Hobbs also explained government funding does not cover the preschool’s rent, different insurances and purchasing specialist equipment.
Its committee — which also includes ex-staff, one a former manager who came out of retirement — has organised a variety of fundraising initiatives to support the preschool.
One such charitable endeavour saw Mrs Hobbs and treasurer, Cate Hobbs, run in the Bath Half Marathon on Sunday, October 15 to raise money for much-needed sensory and play equipment.
They have already exceeded their original £500 target, raising more than £2,000.
“It was really good,” added Mrs Hobbs. “Cate did really well, I think she did it in about an hour and 48 minutes and I was a little bit longer.”
The preschool enrolls children aged two to five-years-old and needs to fundraise consistently each month to ensure its long-term survival.
If you can help, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ChieveleyPreschoolbathalf?utm_term=mZv99YarQ to donate and support the preschool.