Holt Pre-school needs to raise a further £45,000 towards a new building for youngsters and staff - 20th April Wiltshire Times

PARENTS and staff at a Wiltshire pre-school are looking to raise a further £45,000 towards a new building.

They have already raised £140,000 to provide Holt Pre-School with a new building to replace its 50-year-old premises which are now outdated.


To help achieve their target, the fundraisers are continuing to take their inspiration from Captain Sir Tom Moore, more popularly known as Captain Tom, the former British Army officer who raised money for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the Covid-19 pandemic and who died on February 2.


We Did It! - Saturday 21st November 2020

On Saturday 21st November children, parents and staff from Holt Pre-school could be seen walking far and wide across the hills and down the lanes in and around the village of Holt, Wiltshire. Each family bubble walked their own 5k route to collectively clock up a marathon. Participants went to town in fancy dress with a starting line to rival a Disney Carnival - Toy Story, Frozen, Trolls, Smurfs, Elves, Dinosaurs, Princesses and Superheroes. Even Father Christmas put in an appearance. Spirits were high and a fantastic time was had by all.

Karen Tripp, Holt Pre-school Leader said, “All the staff are immensely proud of our pre-schoolers for their outstanding effort today. They have done so well to complete the 5k challenge and we are so very grateful for all the donations.”

A fun day, but at its heart, a serious message. The motivation for this walk was to raise awareness, and essential funds for a new Holt Pre-school building. Sadly, the existing old building has reached the end of its life. Like many early years settings who have been severely affected by COVID-19, the pre-school is experiencing some difficult financial times. As a not-for-profit organisation they are especially reliant on money from fundraising activities, not only to provide all children with a full and vibrant early years’ experience, but also to carry out essential maintenance on the declining building. They do not charge any top up fees for any of the much-loved trips, wish days, parties or picnics and are committed to being fully inclusive and ensure that all children are given equal opportunities.

The pre-school is at the heart of the village community, with most of its children feeding into the village’s one primary school. The staff at Holt Pre-school work tirelessly to provide all children with a warm, nurturing and fun education but the building is in much need of replacement.

Business Manager for Holt Pre-school Kate Buckrell said, “I am absolutely delighted with the fundraising efforts of our pre-school community today. We still have a long way to go though. The figure needed to replace the building and to secure the pre-school for future generations is £150,000. To lose the pre-school would be a severe blow to the village so we are doing all we can to raise these funds.”


They have organised an auction of promises for the Captain Tom 100 Challenge and are trying to raise 100 promises by Friday, April 30, on what would have been Captain Tom’s 101st birthday to honour him and his amazing achievements.

Anna Mundell, of the Holt Pre-school fundraising group, said: “Captain Sir Tom’s family are encouraging people of all ages and abilities to take part in the Captain Tom 100 by taking up a challenge around the number 100 and completing it by May 3. “Holt Pre-school are excited to be rising to this 100 challenge by recruiting the villagers of Holt and local businesses to donate their gifts, time, assets and services in a wide-ranging list of 100 promises. “People will then bid on these promises in an online auction, or for the less tech-savvy, in bid boxes which will be dotted around the village. “Money raised by the auction will all go towards the construction of a new building for the pre-school to replace the current one which has reached the end of its life.”


Since starting out their gigantic fundraising efforts with the children’s 5k for £5k walk last year, Holt Pre-school has also been awarded a number of grants and is now delighted to have achieved 75 per cent of its £185,000 target.


The parents and staff are working hard to raise the remaining £45,000.


Mrs Mundell added: “Promises donated so far include a child’s portrait by local artist Samuel Francis, manicures by Holt salon Nails at the Spa, career coaching, crochet lessons, babysitting and many more.