Students from Brooke Weston have been helping the fundraising efforts of a local pre-school. Lauren Smith from Year 10 and Year 7 student Rebecca Stupples-Boucher both attended Chirpy Chicks at Gretton. Families from the village have paid to have names inscribed on the children’s building blocks and Lauren, Rebecca and Mr Barrett have been carving them using the laser cutter.
They have just delivered their second consignment and were able to see the pre-schoolers making good use of them. Pre-school founder, Mrs Linda Downing said: ‘I love the fact that children who were once here are carving the names for us, it is like the completion of a cycle.’
Chirpy Chicks, which has catered for hundreds of village children, has been running since 1999. It has just moved into new purpose-built premises and the building blocks are the latest in a series of fund-raising initiatives that have raised thousands of pounds.
Toy suppliers Community Playthings like the idea so much that they donated more blocks to the pre-school, which is charging £10 for each to be inscribed.
Mr Barrett said: ‘Each one takes about five minutes once the design is set up. We use a program called TechSoft 2D which controls the laser cutter. Once we have set the template up for the block it is just a case of changing the name. The girls have helped after school and during tutor times.’
Mrs Downing said: ‘This has been such a big help to us, everyone loves the idea. Rather than having a commemorative plaque on a wall the blocks offer open-ended play because they can be transformed into anything. As they are inscribed with names and dates and may last for a hundred years it means that in the future children may be playing with the same blocks that their grandparents and parents bought and played with.’
Chirpy Chicks is holding a grand official opening on Saturday 16 July from 11:00 to 13:00 with raffles and refreshments, a bring and share picnic and the burying of a time capsule.