Peter Pan Pre-school in Bath has today launched a crowdfunding campaign to help them through an enormously challenging time. By September, the coronavirus lockdown will have cost the charity pre-school £16,500. This is a huge sum for a small preschool and has a significant impact on its financial stability and future. As a result, the team that runs the preschool is reaching out to the local community to help it to survive and continue to offer local families an early years’ experience for their children.
The Peter Pan crowdfunder reads, ‘Without your support, we’ll probably be OK. We’ll struggle and it will be tough but we are determined to make it through. But we don’t want to just survive. We want to thrive! We want to be able to adapt and enhance our environment within the new guidelines. We want to invest in new books that promote multi-culturalism and mental health in children. We want to be able to afford to give all our staff valuable training opportunities. We want our staff to feel valued and to have the resources they need to do their jobs. And we want our children to have the very best early years’ experience.’
Peter Pan temporarily shut its doors alongside many other schools and nurseries across the country in March. “It was a very uncertain time” said Marie, one of Peter Pan’s play leaders “Peter Pan has never closed in all the 22 years I have been here.
“We were able to welcome back some of their children in June. They adapted so quickly to the new arrangements, settling in quickly and enjoyed being back with their friends.”
Parent and co-chair of the committee, Clare Moon, added, “The Peter Pan team is just incredible. Its knowledge and experience creates an atmosphere of calm in all situations and there’s just something magical that happens when they all come together. On the face of it, it was so different with the social distancing guidelines in place, but to me, and more importantly to my son, it felt just like the Peter Pan that we know and love.
“Peter Pan is a charity run pre-school that operates on a not for profit basis. We receive no grants; income comes from early years funding, parent fees and fundraising. The loss of fees for the summer term have had a huge impact on our finances and we have missed out on our usual fundraising opportunities. We are very lucky to have extremely supportive parents but, with such a significant loss of income, we simply can’t do this alone. We need help from the wider community.”
Run from the Weston Methodist Church, on Kennington Road, close to Chelsea Road, Peter Pan is a familiar part of the Newbridge community. “It’s just a wonderful thing to see the children back and hear the happy sound of playing once again,” said a local resident.
There is a huge amount of love, respect and appreciation for Peter Pan. Newbridge councillor, Michelle O’Doherty, said, “Both my boys went there and we found it excellent. A lot of the staff who looked after my boys are still there. It’s a lovely place.”
Current parent, Hayley Parsons, added, “It’s the most nurturing pre school I’ve ever encountered. The ladies are so kind, welcoming and very experienced…I don’t know a child that hasn’t loved their experience there.”
“The pre-school has been a part of the Newbridge community for over 40 years and over this time has shown thousands of children the very best love and care. Now we are asking our wonderful community for help. We know Coronavirus has been hard for so many but we really need our local community to come together to help us through Peter Pan’s most challenging time.”
You can contribute to the Peter Pan crowdfunder by clicking here https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/peter-pan-needs-you