Welcome cash boost for pre school group

PUBLISHED: 11:41 08 November 2013 | UPDATED: 11:41 08 November 2013

The Cornerstone Toddler Group is providing an important focal point for new familiies at Cranbrook. Leader Elly Reed is pictured with one of the youngsters

The Cornerstone Toddler Group is providing an important focal point for new familiies at Cranbrook. Leader Elly Reed is pictured with one of the youngsters

Archant

A princely sum of £500 has been awarded to Cornerstone Toddler Group.

A fast-growing group for pre school youngsters has received a welcome cash boost as it continues to become an important focal point for young families at Cranbrook.

The Cornerstone Toddler Group, which meets in St Martin’s Church of England Primary School, has just been given a grant of £500 by Sovereign Housing Association,

Elly Reed, a Sovereign resident who runs the group, told The Herald: “When we set up in February, there were only about five parents and we had nothing. Since then, it has just grown.”

Some 1,120 homes are being built in the first phase of construction at Cranbrook, and the toddler group is playing a vital role for young families moving into the new homes. Between 20 and 60 parents go along to the sessions at the school.

Elly explained: “Because this is a new community with people coming from all over the place, it is easy for young mums to feel isolated and this group has been great for letting them come and meet other parents.

“I think some good friendships have been made. I know I’ve made lots of friends as a result of coming here.”

Among those helping out at the Thursday sessions is Rev Mark Gilborson, the community minister for Cranbrook, who helped set up the group.

In his role, one of Mark’s jobs is to make new residents feel welcome and help them to settle in.

He said: “I knocked on a door and a lady said it was a shame that she was the only young mum here – and I knew of at least 20 others. So I started trying to find a group of people who could start this and Elly was one of the ones at the forefront, with her experience and creative ability.”

One of the attractions of the Cornerstone group is that on alternate weeks, the group is visited by a health visitor and the children’s centre.

Sovereign, which is taking half the affordable homes in the first phase at Cranbrook, has donated £500 to the nursery in recognition of the positive impact it is having in building strong community links.

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