Hammersmith Mums Fight to Save Ravenscourt Park Pre-school

Crowdfunding campaign launched to cover deficit which could cause closure

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Three Hammersmith mums are fighting to save their community pre-school in Ravenscourt Park after being given the shock news that it was earmarked for closure.

The pre-school, at 39 Ravenscourt Road, has been caring for and educating two to five year olds in Hammersmith for over 40 years. It was rated 'Good' by Ofsted following its last inspection in 2015 and focuses on children's wellbeing, happiness and confidence.

Kate Walters, one of the founders of the new Parents' Committee of Ravenscourt Park Pre-school says: "The children have just started back at pre school this week, despite the fact that in July we were told that the it would close permanently - after operating for more that 40 years - at the end of the school year.

"It was under the direct management of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, and because of a deficit they were no longer willing to keep the school open.

"The parents were horrified - as a charity-run organisation we all felt that it had a very important function in our diverse community, and we knew first hand how much the children benefit from the pre-school and its wonderful staff, who have all been working there for years."

Kate, along with Helen Galvin and Lorraine Hamid immediately formed the parents' committee and started inquiries into how to transfer the running of the school from the PSLA to a board of trustees.

She says: "Many meetings with the PSLA ensued and they agreed to the transition on the condition that we raised enough money to cover the deficit they would encounter in the transition period - which is now until January.

"Once the transition period is over, we'll be able to put more sustainable business models in place to allow us to keep the setting open for the children in the Ravenscourt Park area. We're dedicated to keeping it a community-focused, genuinely affordable, and high-quality pre-school which gives the children the best possible start in life."

The committee has now launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £5,000 to ensure the pre-school can continue, and with a month and a half still to go before it closes, they have raised nearly 10% of the total.

"It's been an extremely difficult slog to get where we are today, with much more hard work to come, but worth it to see the children happy to be back at their much-loved pre-school," says Kate.

"Since July, we have registered the pre-school as a new charity, started proceedings to get it Ofsted-registered, created a new website and online presence, started a marketing campaign, met our MP who was wonderfully supportive, had various meetings with local organisations about our goals and aims, and we're in the process of organising fund-raising events, along with much more - not bad for three mums who all have various other jobs and commitments!"

September 14, 2017

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