Children at Worthing nursery learn the importance of charity

Children at Worthing’s Pumpkin Patch Nursery are learning the importance of charity from a young age as they, their parents and staff have fun while raising funds for local children’s hospice Chestnut Tree House as their first Charity of the Year.

The pandemic had an enormous impact on the nursery’s ability to interact with the local community, says manager Sammi Bocutt. “We wanted to do something that would involve the whole nursery family and we knew straight away that we wanted to raise money for Chestnut Tree House. We understand how valuable the service is and it meant a lot to us to be able to support it.”

Every month the children are taking part in focused activities, which so far have included a sports day and interactive storytelling sessions, complete with treasure hunts. “They know that we are raising money for a local charity, and it is to help children who need some support,” says Sammi.

“What they have most enjoyed is coming together. It was lovely on sports day, because they were cheering each other on – they’ve been so enthusiastic and excited. Then they’ve been going home and sharing it with their families. Every time we do something we get an influx of donations, so we can see the children are talking about it at home.”

Pumpkin Patch Nurseries’ area manager Denise Franklin says that the benefits go deeper than that: “With very young children, working together as a team is key to their well-being and their sense of community. To see how they are supporting each other and cheering on that child who is maybe a bit further behind, that is really supporting their sense of community within their nursery. That’s very special.”

Inspired by the children’s enthusiastic response, nine staff from Pumpkin Patch nurseries in Worthing, Brighton and Hove have signed up to climb the roof of the O2 in November. “I think that will be really special,” says Denise. “I’m not particularly scared of heights, but I think the fear might edge in a bit. I think we’re going to have an amazing time, although we’re probably going to be freezing up there!”

Image of a group of nursery children