A WINCHESTER nursery school has received cash for new equipment as part of a housebuilder’s community bursary scheme.

Friends of Lanterns received £350 from CALA Homes to replace resources used for their local stay and play sessions.

Friends of Lanterns run groups for families with young children in the Winchester area. Part of a bigger centre that is also a nursery school, community office, special educational needs hub and holiday activities provider, Friends of Lanterns runs two stay and play sessions a week, as well as an outreach session in a local church.

The donation from CALA will be used to replace to replenish the group’s art cupboard with paints, paper, crayons and stickers.

The CALA Community Bursary was launched in April 2017 and invited local charities, organisations and groups to apply for help to fund projects which make a difference in the community.

Nick Twine, managing director at CALA Homes (Thames), said: “We were extremely impressed and inspired by Friends of Lanterns because even in the wake of funding withdrawal, they have fought to keep this valuable service running for local parents and carers.”

Joss King, community manager at Friends of Lanterns said: “The impact we strive to achieve at Friends of Lanterns is that every child has the best start to life and is on a level playing field with their peers by the time they reach school. We know that to enable this to happen we need to support the family as a whole which is why services such as our stay and play groups are essential.”

She added: “We regularly welcome in excess of 25 families along to our sessions, the majority with two children. We’re incredibly lucky with our volunteers but we still need to fund skilled service providers to run the sessions and continuously invest in resources so funds are always tight! We’re thrilled to have received this funding as part of CALA’s Community Bursary and the money will go a long way towards supporting our work.”