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Cookham community news: 40-year-old pre-school facing closure

George Roberts

Cookham community news: 40-year-old pre-school facing closure

A group of parents and staff have banded together in an attempt to save a much loved pre-school at risk of closure.

Noah’s Ark Pre-school, based in Cookham Dean Village Hall in Church Road, is set to close on Friday, October 25, it was revealed at an extraordinary general meeting last week.

This year the nursery has had a small intake and last week it was decided the pre-school would have to close unless £10,000 can be raised by half term.

Clare Hodgkinson, whose daughter attends the pre-school, said: “It’s been part of Cookham Dean for so long, we are praying someone amazing will come along or some ex-parents will donate some money.

“It’s such a special place for children, it’s not like a normal nursery, it feels so special when you walk in there.”

Noah’s Ark has struggled with numbers this year after many of its children moved on to start school, and with fewer young families moving to the area, they have not been replaced.

In an attempt to attract more parents, pre-school administrator Louise Smith said they would consider extending its opening hours and lowering the minimum age of children who can attend.

All four of the nursery’s staff, including Louise, will lose their jobs if the pre-school closes.

She said: “There will be a lot of sad people around if it has to go.

“It’s such a lovely pre-school, it’s traditional, we do lots of things outdoors like strawberry picking and visiting the turkeys in the winter.”

To see the Noah’s Ark fundraising page online visit https://justgiving.com/campaign/savenoahsark


Wildlife expert to talk on creating 'climate corridors'

A talk on Berkshire’s ‘living landscapes’ and ‘climate corridors’ will take place next week.

Hilary Phillips, of Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBOWT), will give a talk at Lea Barn, in Winter Hill, on Wednesday at 7.30pm.

While climate change grows as a threat to nature, wildlife will increasingly travel to more shaded areas as temperatures rise.

Wildlife travels along ‘climate corridors’ to get from one place to another as temperatures change, like it did in the ice age, but now with obstacles like cities and motorways blocking the way, it is much more difficult.

The BBOWT is working with landowners, farmers, businesses and councils to help link nature reserves together with features like hedgerows, woodland, ponds and streams to provide wildlife with ‘corridors’ to travel along.

It refers to these sprawling areas as ‘living landscapes’, and in her talk Hilary will discuss how they work and how volunteers can help make an impact.


Volunteer call to 'wild the Cookhams'

WildCookham will be ‘wilding’ the Cookhams this weekend.

The ecology group is seeking volunteers to help prepare the green spaces in Cookham Dean for the planting of wildflower seeds.

The group will get together on Sunday at 10am, meeting on the patch of land opposite The Jolly Farmer in Church Road.

Volunteers are needed to strim, scarify and rake over ground in the area before the wildflower seeds are selected.

The group will be at work until 1pm. All aged 18 or over, are welcome to help out.

For health and safety reasons dogs cannot join the group.

To register your attendance visit meetup.com/ WildCookham/


Rat Pack bring swing back for Elizabeth House

Music fans looking for a blast from the past need look no further for an evening of classic 1960s entertainment.

The Definitive Rat Pack will take place at Taplow Court on Friday, November 8 at 7.30pm.

The trio of re-enactors will channel the spirits of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr at the event, which is raising money for Elizabeth House.

Tickets cost £25 from Elizabeth House, the Stationery Depot or online from www.ticketsource.co.uk/elizabeth-house-cookham

Coach transport can be arranged from Elizabeth House to the venue, which will cost an extra £5 for members and £7 for non-members.


Dentist advises 'eat cake for Macmillan'

Music fans looking for a blast from the past need look no further for an evening of classic 1960s entertainment.

The Definitive Rat Pack will take place at Taplow Court on Friday, November 8 at 7.30pm.

The trio of re-enactors will channel the spirits of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr at the event, which is raising money for Elizabeth House.

Tickets cost £25 from Elizabeth House, the Stationery Depot or online from www.ticketsource.co.uk/elizabeth-house-cookham

Coach transport can be arranged from Elizabeth House to the venue, which will cost an extra £5 for members and £7 for non-members.


Black-tie ball fundraiser

A fundraising ball is set to take place this weekend.

The Cookham Dean Ball takes place at the Odney Club on Saturday from 7pm.

The black tie event will be raising money for Noah’s Ark Pre-school

It will include a three-course meal, welcome drink and live 80s music.

Tickets cost £65 from cookhamdeanball@ gmail.com


Diary

Tomorrow (Friday): Bridge drive to raise funds in memory of Jean and Nick Dennis at Cookham Dean Village Hall, Church Road. 7.30pm-11pm.

Saturday: Autumn Fungi Walk in Bisham Woods, Grubwood Lane. 10.30am-12.30pm. Visit meetup.com/WildCookham/ to sign up.

Sunday: Harvest Festival service at Holy Trinity Church, Church Gate. 11am.

Harvest Eucharist at Holy Trinity Church, Church Gate. 6.30pm.

Wheels Vintage Vehicles at Cookham Dean Cricket Club, Whyteladyes Lane. 11.30am-3pm.

Monday: Cookham Bridge Club at Cookham Reach Sailing Club, Berries Road. 1.45pm and 7.30pm.

Tuesday: Cookham Bridge Club at Cookham Reach Sailing Club, Berries Road. 1.30pm and 7.30pm.

Cookham Parish Council flood meeting at Cookham Library, High Road. 7.30pm

Wednesday: WWG Badminton at Pinder Hall, Lower Road, Cookham. 7.30pm.


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