High hopes that Norfolk village pre-school will stay open

A long-established pre-school which was under threat of closure has been saved after villagers rallied round to fight to keep it open.

The future of St Faith's Pre-School in Horsham St Faith, just north of Norwich, was put in doubt as funds started to run low and the building where it is based was almost condemned.

There are plans to run the Mission Rooms-based pre-school, which has been running for 38 years, from a larger room to enable it to accept more children, but the costs are considerably more. Also, more staff are needed to replace Cheryl Carter, who is due to retire this year after 30 years of running the pre-school, and to meet Ofsted requirements.

At a packed meeting held this week, parents and people in the village vowed to raise funds to keep the pre-school going.

Marisa Murton, fundraising co-ordinator and whose eldest daughter attends the pre-school, said: 'It was an unanimous vote to keep it open. We really want to keep it in the village.

'We are a small community and people don't want to be going to other villages to take their children to pre-school. There have been lots of ideas and the general feeling is really positive.'

The pre-school, which currently caters for 12 children, now needs Ofsted permission to use the larger room. It also needs to raise �2,000 this term to cover rent and wages. This figure had been �3,000 but �500 was raised from Royal Wedding day activities hosted by St Faiths' Community Centre which was doubled by Barclays Bank.

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The first fundraising event will be the May Fair held at Elm Farm Country House tomorrow, from 2pm, with a tombola and games.

There will also be a jumble sale at the Mission Rooms on Saturday, May 21 from 12.30pm to 2.30pm, a charity music festival at Elm Farm Country House from 3pm on Sunday, May 29 and a horseracing evening at Elm Farm Country House on Friday, June 21.

Anyone who would like to make a donation should call Mrs Murton on 07786 867462.

Are you trying to save a community facility where you live? Call Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk