A CRICKLADE pre-school invited founding committee members to help celebrate its 35th birthday.

Thames pre-school reaches the milestone this month and held a tea party on Tuesday to celebrate.

The pre-school has come a long way since it first opened in 1984, one of the founding committee members now has a grandson at the group, and has moved from its original site in the Thames Hall on Cricklade High Street to its current location on Bath Road, Cricklade.

Initially operating as a drop-in playgroup, Thames evolved to meet the needs of the Cricklade community and now operates as a pre-school for children aged two upwards from Cricklade, North Swindon and surrounding villages.

Helping children prepare for the start of primary school, the six members of staff provide child care that enables parents to make the most of the government entitlement to free childcare, with additional wrap-around sessions also being available.

The pre-school also hosts a programme of drop in sessions during the summer holidays and a range of community events such as a Christmas Bazaar and pamper evening.

Kathryn Reed, committee chair, said: “Thames pre-school is an important part of the local community, serving families from Cricklade, North Swindon, and surrounding villages.

“Many of the children who attended in the past now have children of their own using the pre-school.

“We’d like to thank all the local community who have supported us and continue to do so as we celebrate reaching our milestone birthday.

“Attendance and support for the fundraising events we hold throughout the year means we can continue to provide a facility in which pre-school children can thrive, and help prepare them for their primary school journey too.

“We’re so lucky to be part of a community that cares about us as much as we do about the children, Benchmarx Swindon has just donated us a new kitchen which has been kindly fitted by Total Bespoke Solutions – what better present to celebrate 35 years?”