Help pours in to theft-hit playgroup
HOPE has been found for the future of Lewis Lane Playgroup in the pockets of numerous groups, businesses and individuals from across Cirencester and beyond.
A fortnight has passed since the Standard broke the news that the Victoria Road playgroup had been hit with a theft that had emptied the charity’s accounts.
Left with no wages to pay the bills, the taxman or staff wages it seemed that places for scores of young children at the once thriving centre could be lost forever.
However, the playgroup has been inundated with people digging deep and giving their support and the group is already halfway to recouping the £8,000 that was stolen.
Cheques and cash have poured in from community groups such as the Quenington Bull Dogs, along with piles of raffle and bingo prizes and even free fruit and vegetables.
Playgroup leader Tessa Collett said: "It's incredible how generous people have been and it certainly gives us some relief that we will carry on, although we're not quite there yet."
"It's incredible how generous people have been and it certainly gives us some relief that we will carry on, although we're not quite there yet."Playgroup leader Tessa Collett
Cirencester Round Table made a massive dent in the fundraising target with a donation of £1,000 to the playgroup last week.
Chairman Dan Peck said: "When we saw the Standard’s article everyone’s reaction was the same – we were shocked and saddened by the news."
He said it was because of the success of last year’s fireworks display at the Victoria Road Playing Fields that they were able to offer such a generous donation.
"Part of what we do is to support local people and we were very happy to be able to help," he said.
Playgroup staff members have been doing their bit this week by completing a sponsored swim at Cirencester Leisure Centre, which has racked up another £1,000 in pledges.
And boosting the cause in a different way is Cirencester’s Magicland, which has offered the playgroup free access to their indoor activity centre for the day, with refreshments provided.
Tessa said: "Every year we normally subsidise a school trip and it was looking like we wouldn't be able to do that, so it's just wonderful to have the offer from Magicland."
To donate or offer support to the appeal contact the Lewis Lane Playgroup on 07816 623298 or send a cheque or cash to the Lewis Lane Playgroup appeal, Wilts and Glos Standard, 74 Dyer Street, Cirencester, GL7 2PW.