A community children’s nursery in Selsey has been given a major business boost with a £1000 donation from The Southern Co-operative Funeralcare branch in Chichester.
Rescued by five working mums when First Steps, their own children’s nursery, was faced with closure, and with considerable volunteer support from local people and businesses, Selsey Community Nursery opened its doors in late July, only one week after First Steps closed. Since then, there has been growing demand for places at the not for profit nursery and its holiday club from the area’s working parents. However, purchasing the expensive essential computer software needed to ensure the business runs smoothly proved to be a major financial hurdle for the not for profit nursery until The Southern Co-operative Funeralcare stepped in to offer its support.
Funeral Co-ordinator Sarah Brand, who is based at Chichester branch of The Southern Co-operative Funeralcare, explained: “I was aware of the campaign to open Selsey Community Nursery and asked if there was any way we could help. The Southern Co-operative is very community minded and keen to support good causes that benefit local people, so I’m really pleased we’ve been able to make a real difference with this £1000 donation.” Six colleagues from The Southern Co-operative store in Selsey had also each volunteered a day of painting and cleaning at the nursery to renovate the building and garden prior to its opening.
Selsey Community Nursery’s volunteer Treasurer, Rosie Jones, who also works as a VAT consultant, said: “We’ve been absolutely blown away by The Southern Co-operative Funeralcare’s support and very excited about receiving this £1000 donation. The software they’ve helped to fund is for safely keeping records, managing staff ratios to ensure that there are enough staff to children, keeping the accounts, raising invoices, dealing with direct debits and paying staff. It will save time and takes the pressure off our staff so they’re not stuck in the office but can concentrate on being with the children.”
Rosie added: “We’re really proud that, with so much local support, we’ve been able to open the nursery especially as there was a shortage of childcare in Selsey. Also that we could reinstate the cook so that every child, whether paid for or government funded, is provided with a fresh home cooked meal. This was important to us as parents knowing that our children are getting nutritious food and trying a variety of flavours. We have plenty more plans to implement other types of quality and flexible childcare and make it more affordable to help working parents and those seeking a return to work. The popularity of our holiday club this summer reflects the demand for this!”