TODDLERS at Chiddingfold Village Nursery School can now enjoy their garden, thanks to the ‘helping hands’ of the village.

Outside play equipment was damaged and the shed broken into by vandals in September 2019, but in a heart-warming show of community support, an appeal for help raised £1,155 in a week – more than three times the amount the nursery had asked for.

The nursery team arrived to set up for the new term on September 3, to find the outdoor play area had been damaged and a GoFundMe appeal was launched for £350.

The garden has been off limits since then for safety reasons and to enable the repairs needed to take place, but it is now back in action much to the delight of pupils and staff.

This week, nursery manager Debbie Wallbank said: “Without the overwhelming generosity and community spirit in Chiddingfold this wouldn’t have happened.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving your donations of money and your precious time to help fix this.

“A big thank you to the ‘helping hands’ of Chiddingfold Bonfire Committee. You are all amazing.

“The garden is now back in play.

“We are a charity and work hard to raise funds to enable us to deliver high quality early years education.

“When an unforeseen incident happens, such as the vandalism of our toys and equipment, it becomes such a worry as to how we can replace or repair things.”