A thriving Horsham playgroup has launched an appeal for funds to help modernise its facilities to ensure its long-term future in the town.
Founded as a charity more than 30 years ago Heather Playgroup, next to North Heath Primary School in Erica Way, currently offers child care for two to four-year-olds.
While the playgroup is full and has a long waiting list their fundraising efforts have so far only been able to ‘scratch the surface’ of the figure needed.
Manager Helen Wood, who lives in Horsham, joined Heather Playgroup as a volunteer 12 years ago, when her son, now 14, went there.
She said:“This playgroup in this building has been here since 1978. We see it as a permanent fixture of which we are the current caretakers.”
The fundraising committee have spent the last year raising funds through activities such as a summer fete and Christmas bazaar, with the help of many businesses in the Horsham area.
However to modernise its home more than £100,000 is required to renovate the roof, windows, heaters, lights, and toilets.
The playgroup is keen to hear from anyone who might be able to help out with fundraising in any way.
Donna Flack, a mum of three whose youngest daughter Ava attends the playgroup, has been involved in the charity’s fundraising activities.
She said: “If we shut down there would not be anywhere else to go.
“The demand is there we just want to improve the experience for the children and the carers.
“The staff are first class it’s just a shame they do not have the facilities that they need.”
Jackie Cairns, another mum involved in fundraising, added: “My child runs to get into playgroup every morning. He always wants to be here. He just likes it, the environment suits him.”
She continued: “It feels very much part of this community I think because most of the children live within a mile radius and most of the children go to the school [North Heath] afterwards.”
Donna added: “It gives me great confidence that Ava is making friends with people she is going to go to North Heath School with and that fills me with a lot of comfort.”
Helen added: “We want to celebrate that we are successful. We have got brilliant parental support and brilliant support from staff.
“It’s about being able to continue the fabulous work that is going on here.”
To get in touch with the playgroup call 01403 262320 or email firstname.lastname@example.org