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Barbecue burgers boost hope for new classroom

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Burgers and sausages provided extra sizzle to a pre-school's fund-raising efforts to build a permanent classroom.

Staff at VolkerLaser, in London Road, Worcester, served up a tasty £3,500 donation to Rushwick Pre-School after a September barbecue to raise funds for the development.

The funds were raised after marketing administrator at the firm, Claire Bingham, organised the barbecue, raffle and auction event in aid of the pre-school, which is currently based at Rushwick Primary School.

The pre-school hopes to raise about £100,000 to replace its current home - a portable cabin - with a permanent structure.

It has been granted rolling three-year planning permission from Malvern Hills District Council for the structure for the last nine years but fear the council's goodwill might run out if it is not built by May 2016.

Cathy Pogmore, pre-school administrator, said: "We are ever so grateful to Claire and everyone at VolkerLaser. We were so surprised at everyone's generosity and all the companies that got involved." The campaign was launched in May and events such as the May Fair have so far brought the total to £16,000. Mrs Pogmore said: "It is early days so far but we have been really confident we will reach the total.

"We have got the support from parents as well as businesses, particularly smaller businesses in St John's which have been happy to have one of our donation tins in their shop. It helps to generate about £40 to £50 every few months which makes a huge difference."

She said she would be meeting planners from the council to talk about what they wanted to achieve.

Previously, a spokesman for the council said it was keen to liaise with the pre-school over possible developments. "Although portable cabins are not always the best for long-term delivery of education we appreciate that with limited funds available, it is sometimes the only option," he said.

"The district council tries to support education facilities in local communities wherever it can and would welcome the opportunity to talk to Rushwick pre-school about their plans for more suitable permanent accommodation." For more information, log on to rushwickpreschool.co.uk.

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