Rossendale Free Press
Nursery school cooks up a treat for family Christmas
EVERY child at Bacup Nursery School will receive their very own family Christmas dinner in a hamper, thanks to staff.
Andrea Cooper, Headteacher at the Cowtoot Lane school, said: “I realise that some of our parents are struggling at this time and know several have more than one job just to make ends meet and pay the bills, so we thought this was a way that we could help to ensure all our families have a Happy Christmas.”
The 182-place nursery school has morning and afternoon places and also provides extended services for children needing before and after school care.
When the government allocated funding to provide meals for primary and secondary school pupils, who were entitled to a free school meal, during the holiday period, Mrs Cooper and staff arranged for every nursery school pupil, whose parents signed up, to receive a free packed lunch every day for one of the Easter holiday weeks.
She said: “Supported by donations from the community, staff volunteered their time to visit all of the pupils’ homes each day to deliver the packed lunches.
“When I had the idea about providing the family Christmas dinners, I spoke to all of the staff and, without hesitation, they all offered to give up their holiday to prepare the hampers and to deliver the meals.
“I couldn’t ask for better staff.”
Since then, Mrs Cooper has approached Jackie Flynn at Rossendale Council and received £480 towards the initiative.
Gregory’s Butchers in Bacup is providing the chickens at a generous discount and they are asking for donations to buy potatoes, sprouts and carrots wholesale and weigh them into portions.
Staff will don Christmas jumpers and hats to deliver the food hampers.
Mrs Cooper said: “Everyone has been so generous; I am very grateful. In each hamper we will also be adding gravy granules, stuffing, mince pies and Christmas Crackers. I will be writing to all our parents to explain what we are doing and asking them to provide information on any dietary requirements. We really hope this will cheer everybody up. It is all about being kind to one another and we are encouraging our pupils to be kind too. Nancy made cakes and took them to the police station to say thank you while Ayda sorted through her toys and donated those she no longer wanted to the charity shop for a child who didn’t have any.”
The school is appealing for donations of small boxes that they can decorate and make into hampers. Contact 01706 873856.