Community rallies to save theft-hit Tydd St Mary Pre-School

Pictured by the cake stall are Judith Powers, Beverley Nicholson, Sheila Melton, Brenda Fursse, Lynnette Groves, Noah Lilley, Sarah Lilley and Alanis Onions (front). SG100617-131TW
Pictured by the cake stall are Judith Powers, Beverley Nicholson, Sheila Melton, Brenda Fursse, Lynnette Groves, Noah Lilley, Sarah Lilley and Alanis Onions (front). SG100617-131TW

Tydd St Mary Pre-School has bounced back after being dealt a near fatal blow by its disgraced former treasurer, who stole more than £4,800 from the coffers.

Brenda Fursse, who chairs the pre-school committee, says the community response has been “absolutely fantastic” and more than £5,000 has been raised “through the kindness of others”.

Hoopla fun for Sarah Lilley and Alanis, Sheila and Ayrton Onions. SG100617-133TW

Hoopla fun for Sarah Lilley and Alanis, Sheila and Ayrton Onions. SG100617-133TW

In April, former treasurer Andrew Rivett was jailed for eight months when he appeared at Lincoln Crown Court for sentence after helping himself to money from the pre-school’s reserve account.

Judge Simon Hirst told Rivett: “As a result of what you did the consequences were very serious and almost fatal to the pre-school group.

“There was enormous worry among members of staff and parents about the school closing.”

Everyone connected with the pre-school was determined to soldier on.

Brenda said: “We know we have got a really caring community so we were hopeful that people would stand behind us.

“We never expected it (the theft) and it just hit us like a ton of bricks but to be lifted back up in this way by the community is just amazing.

“We just wanted to get back and get on with the job in hand.

“People have been so kind.

“It makes you realise how many good people are out there.”

As well as organising and supporting fundraising events, villagers have been voicing their support for the pre-school.

“We’ve had people coming up to us and saying they appreciate us being in the village,” said Brenda. “We have spoken to people who had children there years ago.”

There was a well-supported summer fete at the pre-school on Saturday, which raised £400.

Fundraising has included a family disco and football tournament, organised by previous parents of the pre-school, which raised £887.22.

A brass band concert held in the church raised £237.63.

Donations received through Lisa Jarmany at the local shop, ‘Tydd Stores’, and further private donations direct to the pre-school have totalled £2,900.

The pre-school held several successful fund-raising events themselves, including a popular quiz night, a sponsored pedal and an Easter coffee afternoon, making a total of £583.25.

Brenda said everyone connected with the pre-school is grateful for the public’s generosity.

She said: “We will now be able to move positively forward and continue with the care, education and development of the children attending the setting.”

Anyone wishing to book a place for their child in September can phone manager Sheila Melton on 01945 420331.

The pre-school’s annual drive and table top sale takes place on Saturday, July 22. For bookings contact 01945 420331 (mornings only) or 01945 420741.

• Is there something that makes your own community great? Email lynne.harrison@iliffepublishing.co.uk

Previously ...

Pre-school treasurer jailed for stealing funds

Fundraising boosts Tydd St Mary Pre-School after theft by ex treasurer