A CROWDFUNDING campaign to raise money for a children’s nursery in Highcliffe has smashed its target of £1,000 within a week.

Even though Chewton Common Playgroup were forced to close because of Covid-19, staff have been providing daily activities, posting stories on Facebook and delivering ‘post’ to children during lockdown.

Emma Goodridge, whose son William would be attending Chewton Common Playgroup under normal circumstances for his final term before going up to school in September, set up a GoFundMe page as a way to say thank you and to help support the nursery.

She said: “Like many small businesses, Covid-19 has put an even greater financial pressure on Chewton Common Playgroup."

Helen has been unable to get any government support, and although the playgroup has received its funding for eligible children, the situation has meant that there are no funds left to buy new equipment for the new term.

Chewton Common Playgroup is at the very heart of our young community here in Highcliffe. Helen and her team of staff work tirelessly to ensure the children have a varied and enriched experience when attending each session.

Emma was approached by three parents who all have local businesses who each donated a prize as an incentive for people to donate.

These include a bespoke facial from Kirsty Campbell at Christchurch Derma Spa, a beauty treatment from Pamper Yourself and an afternoon tea box for four from Pickled Fig Catering.

Three random names will be picked from a hat on Wednesday June 10 by Helen Dow who runs the nursery.

Having reached their initial target so quickly, Emma has increased their target to £2,000.

She said: “I am thrilled at how quickly we have reached our target! The support from parents and the community has been incredible.

“My son William is going to be doing a sponsored 5K bike ride to help raise funds as well. It’s nice to get the children involved, he really loves the nursery and all the staff.

“Because we have had such a wonderful response, I have decided to run the fundraiser for another two weeks.”

To donate to the fundraising campaign, click here