LOCAL MP Michelle Donelan has pledged to walk all 87 miles of the Kennet and Avon Canal to raise money for Holt Pre-School towards construction of a new building.
Since last year, the pre-school has been busy fundraising to replace its current building, which has reached the end of its life. The pre-school has a target of £200,000, and has so far raised £155,000.
And now the local MP has offered her help as they push to raise the remaining £45,000.
Michelle Donelan MP, who will get walking for the pre-school later in the year, said, “This is a fantastic community asset that we cannot afford to lose. I have been exploring all avenues to look for sources of funding and will continue to press the case with colleagues in the Department for Education and at Wiltshire Council.
“I am really looking forward to the opportunity to fundraise myself for Holt Pre-School and urge you to follow my progress as I prepare to walk the 87 miles of the Kennet and Avon Canal.”
A spokesperson for the MP continues, “Since November 2020 Michelle Donelan MP has been working with representatives from Holt Pre-School to safeguard the future of the pre-school and secure funding for a new building.
“Pre-schools are an integral part of the community and it is absolutely essential to enable the provision of a new building for both the children and the community.
“Currently, Wiltshire Council own the building and while there are no funds available to replace the building, the council has recently funded some repairs in the short term, however this is not a sustainable position in the long term.
“The pre-school is run as a not for profit company which is made up of three directors (the pre-school leader, deputy and business manager) and a voluntary fundraising committee. They have been in the village for over 50 years and moved from the village hall to the existing mobile classroom (second hand – funded by Wiltshire Council) on the Holt Primary School site 10 years ago.
“If this valuable community asset were to close, there are a number of families who would not be able to access childcare in other areas (as they have no transport and there are very limited bus services in Holt).
“Holt pre-school is repeatedly a parents first choice to receive the disability access fund and have many children with special educational needs attend the pre-school. If the provision were lost, parents with children at the primary school who do have access to transport would have to find a way to drive out of the village and then back into Holt to take their children to primary school, increasing traffic on the roads, preventing them from walking their child to school and trying to find somewhere to park in the vicinity of the school, which is already not easy.
“The pre-school also offers a breakfast club which allows parents to go to work ahead of the school start time of 8.45am so a number of work opportunities would be compromised.
“The fundraising committee have done an amazing job and applied for many grants and are doing as much fundraising as possible but as everyone has experienced, they have been very restricted by the pandemic which has not only impacted group activities but the ability of many families to contribute to the fundraising.
“The aims and objectives and business case for a new building and annual accounts can be viewed on the pre-schools website: www. holtpreschool.co.uk/fundraising and Michelle Donelan MP is urging any local businesses who could help to come forward and please email michelle.donelan.mp @parliament.uk to discuss the opportunity further.”