Saving Our School

If you’ve walked through Ravenscourt Park, chances are you’ve noticed the nursery gardens that overlook one of the children’s playgrounds.  It’s home to the much-loved Ravenscourt Park Pre-School, a not-for-profit, affordable nursery that is soon to be run by a trust of local parents.  Set in in the heart of Ravenscourt Park, the nursery has been serving the community for over 40 years.  It was recently threatened with closure by the charity body that was running it – but the parents immediately fought back and in January 2018 it will be run by a volunteer trustee group alongside the long serving, excellent, experienced staff. 

Kate Walters, a Hammersmith (and formerly Chiswick) local, told us she couldn’t bear for the nursery to shut its doors.  “It’s a lifeline to many parents.  Generations of local residents have sent their children to Ravenscourt Park Pre-School.  When it was threatened with closure, a group of parents got together and worked tirelessly to prevent the doors from closing forever.  Our newly formed trust will take over in January and we have grand designs for our little nursery.”  Kate says as the nursery is a charity, parent involvement is essential.  Parents work with staff to ensure the children are given a safe, nurturing and happy start to their school life.  The children love spending time in the large outdoor playground, which looks into the park; taking part in ‘school trips’ to feed the ducks or to the nearby garden centre; and gardening in the learning garden, where they grow seeds to take home and learn about conservation while creating homes for insects and bees.  They are committed to ensuring the children enjoy their time at school and that their education and care remains affordable and accessible to all. 

Another parent trustee Helen Galvin notes, “As the nursery was threatened with closure at short notice in the early part of this year, many parents withdrew their children meaning everal spaces are now available.”  If your child is between the ages of 2 and 5, you could snap up one of only ten spaces remaining in the nursery.  Once it reaches capacity, they will establish a waiting list.  The nursery, which is currently undergoing its Ofsted registration, is proud to offer 30 full hours of free funding for parents who require it meaning many children can attend at no cost to the parents.  Two year olds receive 15 hours of free childcare at Ravenscourt Pre-School.  The hours of operation are 9am – 3.30pm and morning and afternoon sessions are available.  The staff, all mother and grandmothers, live locally.  “My children have been attending for the past four years and there hasn’t been any staff turnover in that time which speaks volumes about the genuine love and care they have for our children.  In an industry with excessive churn, we can proudly say Ravenscourt Pre-School retains its invaluable and wonderfully caring staff,” says Kate. 

Lorraine Hamid, also on the parent trustee committee, says, “The new trustee group will be hosting a fundraising event in the spring of next year to make cosmetic improvements to the nursery and ensure new learning tools and play equipment can be purchased for the children.  We need as much support from the local community and local businesses as possible! Please get in touch if you think you can help with our event or simply make a donation directly to our crowdfunder page. ”  As a local business at the heart of our communities in Hammersmith, Shepherds Bush and Chiswick, Director John Horton has pledged his support.  He says, “My children are former pupils at Ravenscourt Pre-School which was, and still is, a truly outstanding nursery that flies the flag for community pre-school education.  It’s a place where children are incredibly happy and enjoy their time.  It’s the kind of establishment that we all wish existed on our doorstep.  Please help us keep the doors open by giving to the fundraising campaign.” 

To make a donation to the nursery, visit: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/support-ravenscourt-park-pre-school

For more information, to arrange a tour of the school or to book a place visit:

https://www.ravenscourtparkpreschool.com/