Community Champions

Pre-school gets a helping hand from packaging firm

Written by Peter Davison.

Gina Dawkins presents the cheque to Tina Azzopardi with Jules, Imogen, and ThomasA Swindon pre-school whose garden was vandalised has been awarded £4,553.83 by Wasdell Packaging, enabling them to continue the much-needed refurbishment of their play area.

Last Christmas, Eldene Pre-School’s garden was vandalised, causing damage to their ‘Secret Garden’. Plant pots were smashed, their water feature was broken, and their pagoda and much-loved mosaic were damaged.

The garden had been transformed that summer by volunteers and parents and the pre-school was heartbroken to find the damage. Parents of the Pre-School’s children rallied around to make the area safe and enjoyable again for the children, but the entire garden area was left in need of refurbishment.

Tina Azzopardi, manager of Eldene Pre-School Parents Committee, approached Wasdell Packaging to see if they could help them with their plans in the next stage of refurbishment to replace the safety floor in the outside play area as well as for refurbishing their climbing frame.

As a non-profit making charity, projects like this need extra funds to be raised.

Martin Tedham, managing director of Wasdell, said: “When we heard about Eldene Pre-School’s need we knew we had to help. With over 600 of our staff based in Swindon, providing children in the town with the opportunity to learn outside and play is very important to us.

“We were very disappointed to hear about the vandalism and need for refurbishment, however hopefully the current and future children in the pre-school will have hours of fun in their new playground.”

Gina Dawkins, group head of quality, presented the cheque on behalf of Wasdell Packaging to Tina Azzopardi together with pre-schoolers Jules, Imogen and Thomas.

Tina Azzopardi added: “When we found out that Wasdell would cover all the cost of our plans, we were over the moon; it was like Christmas had come early. It’s very rare that businesses are as generous as that and the children will be very happy with their new play equipment.

“We hope to have the work started as soon as the weather allows. As a charity-run pre-school, our fees cover our staff costs and the resources needed for the children, so we need to fundraise all through the year to pay for these exciting extras. W

"We run the pre-school for the benefit of all of the community and we have children here from very diverse backgrounds, so lots of local families will benefit from our improved play area.”

Eldene Pre-School and Toddlers is an 'outstanding' pre-school, as graded by Ofsted in June 2017. Their highly qualified staff make the setting a friendly, relaxed, caring place for children to learn through play.

Staff have experience of children with additional needs and can offer flexibility to meet the needs of the family.