Westgate Whirlybirds & Pre-School: Ruffley Supports Fundraising For New Building Project

Thursday, 23 October, 2003

David Ruffley is supporting Westgate Whirlybirds & Pre-School in their efforts to raise funding for their new purpose built school premises.

At present the Pre-School operates from an old pre-fab building within Westgate Community Primary School but the building has now reached the end of its useful life and lacks modern facilities. The Whirlybirds committee plan to erect a purpose built brick building to replace it. Their fundraising target for the new building is approximately £90,000.

Westgate Whirlybirds have now commenced their fundraising in earnest. Westgate Councillor, Stefan Oliver has pledged £2,000 from his locality budget. The committee will shortly be submitting bids for funding to local and regional organisations backed up by David's letter of support.

The text of David Ruffley's letter of support is below:-

I would like to register my support for the funding application by Westgate Whirlybirds & Pre-School Club in my constituency.

This successful independent organisation in Bury St Edmunds offers sessions for pre-school children and out of school childcare, both before and after school, as well as during the school holidays. They currently have a membership of 250 children and a large waiting list. Their sessions are always full.

The Club is seeking to raise money for a new modular building to replace the present one which has become dilapidated and lacks modern facilities. A new building is essential to enable this much used and much needed organisation to continue. A new building will provide purpose built accommodation with disabled access. This is particularly important because their catchment area includes Riverwalk School which caters for children with special needs and disabilities.

Westgate Whirlybirds and Pre-School, although being in the grounds of Westgate Community Primary School, and originally taking children from the catchment areas of Westgate Primary and Horringer Court Middle School, now has a demand for places beyond this immediate area. The high quality- but none the less affordable- professional learning and childcare services they provide is in much demand by working parents in Bury St Edmunds.

The successful completion of this project will enable the Club to introduce a new 'wrap round care' afternoon session which will allow more parents to go out to work. Such a session could add another 130 available places.

I am very much aware from my postbag that the availability of high quality, affordable childcare is essential for many parents and the lack of it is one of the main barriers for mothers returning to work. The Committee of Westgate Whirlybirds and Pre-School are working hard to provide new facilities for local children and I commend their project to you. I hope you will look favourably on their application.