Youngsters get a colourful cash booster

It's not every day children at Ditchingham day nursery get to paint a giant cheque - and thanks to the EDP and Saffron Housing Trust they won't be putting those brushes down for a while yet… Their nursery is one of the 13 lucky winners in the EDP and Saffron's quest to give away £25,000 to deserving community projects in the south Norfolk area.

It's not every day children at Ditchingham day nursery get to paint a giant cheque - and thanks to the EDP and Saffron Housing Trust they won't be putting those brushes down for a while yet…

Their nursery is one of the 13 lucky winners in the EDP and Saffron's quest to give away £25,000 to deserving community projects in the south Norfolk area.

Last October we launched the community chest competition - and received entries from no less than 73 projects asking for a slice of the cash for their treasured scheme.

In the end we chose winners from all parts of south Norfolk for projects both big and small - and affecting everyone from hesitant toddlers to distinguished great-grandparents.

Projects include new access points for the fishing lakes at Poringland, electric storage heaters for the Scout hut in Diss, stage lighting for a theatre group in Tasburgh, leisure equipment for a meadow in Hapton and a mobile building for youth work in Harleston.

The other winning projects are blinds for Wymondham Abbey church hall, trykes for a playgroup in Barford, tables and chairs for social clubs in both Claxton and Trowse, a climbing frame for a playground in Broome, a shed for the primary school in Pulham Market, and a host of nursery equipment for children in Hingham.

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Yesterday Adam Ronaldson, chief executive of Saffron Housing Trust, which put up the £25,000, and Sam White from the EDP, which ran the competition, visited Ditchingham day nursery to hand over a cheque for £1,150.

The money will be spent on a brightly-coloured new fence made out of wood shaped like pencils… but it wasn't long before the children made a head start by getting to work on our cheque!

Maria Howell, manager of the 50-member and nine-staffed nursery, which caters for children aged three months to five years in Ditchingham, near Bungay, said everyone was very grateful to get the funding.

“Our current chain link fence is very old, very rusty and very uninviting,” she said. “The new one will enhance the environment and help with the children's education.

“Members of the Bungay Lions have kindly offered to paint it but I'm sure the children will want to get involved. We're extremely grateful for the help, it's normally so difficult for a nursery of our size to get funding. Thank you Saffron and the EDP!”