Staff of Toy Box Junction Crèche at Swindon's Designer Outlet Centre celebrated Paddington Bear's birthday in late June by taking part in the ‘Bring Your Bear’ fundraiser for the well-known bear's favourite charity Action for Medical Research, writes Natasha Spencer.
Children were asked to bring a teddy or soft toy to the nursery for the day in exchange for a £1 donation to help fundraise for the ‘Touching Tiny Lives Appeal’ for sick and vulnerable babies. They took part in activities like face painting from a professional make-up artist, gingerbread icing, raffle, teddy bears' picnic and a sponsored walk around the centre.
Raffle tickets were on sale at 25p a ticket or £1 a strip. The first prize was a Paddington bear soft toy, the second prize was a family ticket to the Steam Museum in Swindon, the third prize was a candy making machine and the fourth was an hour free ticket for one child at the Toy Box Crèche.
Creche manager Sandrine Bradbury said the fundraising idea was perfect for Toybox. "I thought it was a lovely idea and all the staff were enthusiastic about taking part. We want to raise as many pennies as we can and raise the profile of the crèche."
Local parent Sandra Forsythe, who takes her children to the crèche twice a week said the fundraiser was an exciting event for the children. "Today is obviously for fundraising, but it’s a lovely break for the mums and it's nice to meet the staff. The children also enjoy meeting others who they will go to school with."
The crèche will next be holding a fundraiser for Red Nose Day this November, which they hold activities for every year.
Toy Box Crèche is open throughout the year except Christmas Day:
The minimum stay is 30 minutes and the maximum is 2½ hours.
Every customer gets free parking also, whether you are simply dropping off or staying to do some shopping.
Payment for creche use is taken on collection of children: £2 per 30 minutes, £2.20 on weekends.
Natasha-Anne Van Zyl one of the nursery workers commented on the atmosphere of the crèche, stating: ‘It’s a friendly environment, there are so many activities for the children to do. Other nurseries are more structured and have restrictions, whereas here it is free play, the children get to do what they want’!
The crèche also hosts community groups every week from Monday-Thursday, starting at 10am. The cost is £2.15 per family, with drinks for the parents and children included.
Toybox is also available for private hire:
– off peak (weekdays – school term) 1½ hours price: £44
– off peak 2 hours price: £48
– peak (weekends – school holidays) 1½ hours price: £58
– peak 2 hours price: £60
For details call the crèche on: 01793 423456.