As building work continues to expand its two nursery settings in Poole, over 4,000 miles away in Rwanda a new school is being built and partially funded by the money raised through various fundraising activities by staff, children and parents at Cuddles Day Nursery.
Owner of Cuddles Day Nursery, Linda Duly explains, “Back in 2015 I went to Rwanda with my husband and visited an orphanage run by an extraordinary woman called Faith Uwantege. I learned that Faith’s inspiration bears its roots from the streets of Kinigi where she constantly saw vulnerable children at risk with no hope for tomorrow.
“Faith set up The Faith Foundation which takes in children of parents affected by genocide, AIDS or those who only have one parent or even a lone grandparent taking care of them. “ The Foundation exists to help restore hope, empower dreams and educate children to build skills for a brighter life and future.
Linda wanted to do something to help and on her return to the UK decided to raise money for the Foundation by organising a different charity event every month at the three nursery settings she runs in Canford Heath, Parkstone and Poole Stadium. Charity events ranged from singing nursery rhymes to growing sunflowers and putting pennies in Smarties’ jars as well as selling DVDs of their nativity play. All the nursery fundraising efforts were aimed at supporting the building of a new facility for the Faith Foundation in Rwanda and they reached their target of £5K in the last 12 months.
Now the money has been raised and sent to Rwanda to help build the new school. Linda said, “It is particularly pertinent that as we see our new buildings and facilities taking shape at Canford Heath and Parkstone, we know that many miles away thanks to the efforts of our children, parents and staff, we have helped support the building of another facility that is going to make a huge difference to a number of children’s lives. It is also interesting to see how much more can be done with £5K in a country like Rwanda. ” The fundraising was also a great way for the Cuddles Nursery children to learn about helping others and raising awareness of those living in a very different environment.
Earlier this year, Cuddles Day Nursery in Canford Heath was awarded £381,168 for the creation of 104 new places from September. The Parkstone setting was given £246,230 to create 52 new places. The money will be used alongside extra funds from Cuddles Day Nursery to support working families in the two communities and the total investment will be closer to £1 million.
The capital funding grant was made to the nursery as a result of the Government’s decision, repeated in the recent Budget, which means that working parents will be entitled to 30 free hours for three and four-year-olds from the start of the next academic year.
Canford Heath Councillor Sandra Moore said, “This is great news for local families. I’m sure Cuddles was chosen to receive this grant because not only do they provide excellent quality childcare, they also want to work with other local childcare providers to help deliver the new, increased entitlement of 30 hours free child care.”
Building work started at Cuddles Day Nursery in Canford Heath on 3 January and is expected to be completed by the end of August. As well as two new classrooms which will take 24 children each and be open 50 hours a week for 51 weeks of the year, there will be a purpose built large play area which will be split into different age groups. At Cuddles Parkstone branch land has been acquired next to the nursery and a purpose built facility is taking shape, providing room for at least 24 additional children and an enhanced outdoor playing area.
The Nursery is a firm believer in the importance of children playing outdoors and plans to introduce an allotment so that the children can be involved with learning how to grow their own vegetables as well as the excitement of picking the produce and trying it for their lunch.