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The sound of cheering children greeted cyclists on a 767 mile charity cycle ride long before they made a pit-stop at Highbury Lodge Day Nursery in Hitchin on Friday.
Completing nearly 365 miles since the Bath start on Monday, the team of cyclists – all colleagues of the Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ day nursery in Highbury Road – were urged on for the final approach up a steep hill by children waiving home-made flags and banners and blowing party horns.
It was then their turn to cheer on pre-schoolers who have gone ‘wheely mad’ in support of the fund-raising marathon with ‘whacky races’ in the garden here children have being doing laps of a special course complete with baked beans and jelly features to ride through. Staff have also been on the move taking it in turns on a static exercise bike at the nursery.
As Highbury Lodge Manager, Rebecca Smith, explained the themed activities were designed for the children to have fun and for staff to raise as much money as possible to help create a £50,000 for a children’s outside play area at a major hospital.
“We are surrounded by happy, healthy and confident children every day at nursery and can see how important an imaginative outdoor play area is to their development. It is even more important for children undergoing traumatic treatments in hospital and their families supporting them on site,” she said, praising staff for their tireless support of the fund-raising initiative.
Sponsored sporting activities at the nursery will raise money for a children’s play area at the new Princes Eugenie House in the grounds of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore.
Cyclists on the ‘M and M Challenge’ (Miles House Day Nursery in Bath to Meadow View Day Nursery in Buckinghamshire) have been cycling between each of the 47 day nurseries in the award-winning, employee-owned Childbase Partnership as part of 25th Birthday celebrations for the company.
Childbase Partnership CEO and founder, Mike Thompson, and Operations Director, Lynda Gostelow, who began her career with the company as a practitioner 25 years ago, are leading the cyclists.
Colleagues have been joining the team for regional sections of the marathon and each nursery visited has hosted their own sponsored events to boost fund-raising for the charity.
The Sue Andrews Foundation – a charitable organisation established in memory of a Childbase Partnership Director who died last year – selected this cause for the big fund-raising drive.