We are a nursery school charity operating in a rural location in Suffolk. We would like this money to purchase an air source heat pump, solar panels and a water harvesting system to make a move to new premises feasible, by reducing future costs, and thereby secure Playschool's future .
Our charity was set up 45 years ago by local Mums to improve the lives of families in the area. We are still run by a voluntary committee with the support of the local community. To remain viable in an area, where many similar organisations have closed, we have developed the service we provide to care for a wider age range of children (3 months to 8 years) and increased the number of hours per day/days per week/weeks per year we open. This has meant an increase in the numbers of children we care for, increased chances of parents being able to return/start work and allowed us to offer more employment, especially to young people, within our organisation.
We are passionate about providing the best possible early education experience for every child in our community in a flexible, affordable way and are very proud to have an Ofsted outstanding rating.
We currently run the nursery from a village hall. Unfortunately our successful expansion has meant that this facility now can only offer a restricted availability to other groups within the village. To facilitate others use of the building we have to pack away each night and occasionally move out into a local woodland or the local Scout HQ. This is becoming increasingly difficult to do as our numbers increase. A local farmer has offered to help us convert a redundant barn for us to move into as a permanent home and so secure the organisation for at least the next 45 years.
We strive to be an eco school and our new landlords farm in a way that is sensitive to the environment and wildlife, regularly auditing their business for energy, carbon and water use. We would like to foster these principles, as well as minimise our utilities bills and would therefore like to install green energy features in the new building during its conversion.
Currently we have limited outside space with accessibility problems. When we move the children will have free access to glorious outside spaces with grassland, farm tracks and ancient trees. This will have enormous benefits to their health, happiness, well-being and development. This move will have the added benefits in that we can further extend our opening hours and increase the number of children we can care for at a time. This is important in an area that has insufficient childcare places available for families.
We are a not for profit organisation and only hold necessary reserves for redundancies etc. not for big capital expenses. We are now regularly holding fundraising events to save money for the conversion/move but to raise large amounts is difficult in our rural community.
We need this money now as we face increasing pressure to move before the end of next year to free up our current premises and to complete the move to remain viable. In addition to this solar tariffs will change next year and we need to commit soon to benefit from existing incentives. Savings to our energy/utilities use will enable us to be more sustainable.
The impact of this money will be:
To help secure the future of a valuable local charity by giving us affordable energy/utility bills in new premises.
Allow us to move to free up the village hall for other groups to use.
Contribute to regeneration of a redundant farm building.
Enable us to increase childcare, employment and the employability of parents.
Help us to educate families and children in environmental awareness.
Contribute to maintaining the beautiful environment on the farm, which has won the Best Conservation Farm at The Suffolk Agricultural Association (SAA) Agricultural awards.
'This is an excellent place for children to learn and grow' 'Fantastic, caring staff'.