St Edmunds Trust awards more than £7,000 to Exning pre-school for specialist play equipment

Stepping Stones Pre-School in Exning has been awarded more than �7.000 for specialist play equipment

Stepping Stones Pre-School in Exning has been awarded more than �7.000 for specialist play equipment. Picture: TOVE HANSEN - Credit: Archant

A Bury St Edmunds-based trust which awards grants to organisations involved in the care of disabled people has given more than £8,000 to an Exning pre-school.

St Edmunds Trust has awarded Stepping Stones Pre-School, which is based in the grounds of Exning Primary School, near Newmarket, £8,276 for specialised play equipment.

The nursery operates an open door policy and provides specialist care and education for all children, including those with additional needs such as speech and language delays, children with autism and behavioural attention disorders.

The grant from the trust is being used to set up special needs areas including sensory bubbles, snuggle pods, willow huts and canopy, and a rainbow water cascade.

Sarah Thompson, Stepping Stones manager, said: “Since we have received the support and funding we have been able to purchase specialist toys and resources to create sensory areas.

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“The children use the sensory equipment for many reasons all individual to each child.

“The bubble tubes particularly have helped children to be calm and relaxed.

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“We are still putting together the outside area but the friendship pods and buddy bench are already well used and the children love spending time together in the pods.”

Karen Livermore-Farley, parent of a child at the nursery, said: “The sensory equipment has made a huge difference to the ambiance of the setting.

“The children are mesmerised by the bubbles and they love hiding and relaxing in the pods together.”

St Edmunds Trust donates to organisations loosely defined by the borders of west Suffolk, and includes the towns of Bury St Edmunds, Mildenhall, Haverhill, Newmarket and Sudbury.

Other recent donations by the trust include £7,000 to WASH Sailability – a charity based at Lackford Lakes, near Bury St Edmunds, which introduces the freedom and excitement of sailing to those with physical, mental or sensory disabilities.

Other recent recipients include the Suffolk Disability Care Fund, which received £15,000 for specialist equipment, Suffolk Mind – which was awarded £10,000 to provide free counselling – and the My WiSH charity, which supports West Suffolk Hospital.

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