Hartlepool nursery hit by blaze gets funding boost

Fire ravaged Rift House Primary School
Fire ravaged Rift House Primary School

A nursery hit by a devastating fire has been given a boost after winning a national prize.

The nursery at Rift House Primary School was badly damaged in a suspected arson attack earlier this year,

The community rallied round the school after the incident – which took place in May – with a crowdfunding webpage raising more than £1,000.

It is now set to be given further helped after being crowned a winner in the Sudocrem Play More Campaign, which awards educational grants to nurseries which promote outdoor play.

More than 2,000 nominations were received, but Rift House – which has 37 places for children aged three to four and hopes to increase that over the next year – was one of those selected.

Lisa Dunn, the school’s assistant headteacher, said: “It is fantastic news for the school that we have won this wonderful award.

“Because of the circumstances that we find ourselves in, to be given an award that will help us to further develop our nursery outdoor provision is superb, as developing the children’s knowledge and understanding through outdoor learning is essential.”

The nursery has been open for nearly 50 years, and actively promotes outdoor play.

The £500 grant will now give it a chance to further improve its outdoor play areas. Outdoor learning opportunities are planned for every day, with children given unlimited access to the outdoor environment throughout their nursery sessions. The nursery intends to use the grant to install an outdoor mud kitchen.

The Play More campaign, now in its second year, was launched in May with the backing of Professor Robert Winston and set out to reiterate the importance of outdoor play.

By providing new equipment, Sudocrem hopes to get children to make the most of the great outdoors.

Sudocrem’s brand manager Georgina Fotopoulou said: “We’ve been healing skin for generations and we’re proud to promote the spirit of adventure with Play More.”