November 2016

The children at Bamford Pre-School are celebrating with mud pies and sludge cupcakes thanks to a generous donation from Sickleholme Service Station, which has allowed them to build their very own mud kitchen!

The donation of £735 was presented to the Pre-school after it was chosen as the service station’s charity of the year.  The staff, committee members and children at Bamford Pre-school voted unanimously to spend the funds on creating a purpose-built mud kitchen that can be enjoyed by generations to come.

The money was raised through the Make a Difference Locally charity that helps independently run stores add value to their communities.

The mud kitchen is complete with sink, oven, utensils, pots and pans and is housed in a sturdy wooden structure.  There are hooks to hang aprons and a blackboard so that children can write up their muddy recipes!

Bamford Pre-School Manager, Caroline Hunter commented: “All the children love the new mud-kitchen, it’s the highlight of the week when they’re allowed to get completely filthy!  There’s lots of fun to be had, but the mud-kitchen format provides younger children with different learning opportunities too, via sensory, imaginative, creative and exploratory play. Being outdoors also gives children the chance to connect and learn about nature, while being imaginative and inventing their own role play games.

“On behalf of everyone at Bamford Pre-school we’d like to say a big thank you to Sickleholme Service Station for choosing us as their charity of the year, the mud-kitchen is a fantastic resource for us and one that will be enjoyed by local children for many years to come.”

The new mud kitchen will be named ‘Mr. Stan’s Mud Kitchen’ in memory of William Stanley Willis, who sadly died in April this year.  Stan, who was a Methodist Minister and later a teacher, was well-known in Bamford and has close contact to the Pre-School, which operates from the Methodist School Rooms.

Caroline said: “Stan was always very supportive and helped us whenever he could, the children and teaching staff affectionately referred to him as Mr. Stan and he is very sadly missed. He was also well respected in the village and renowned for getting jobs done – so it just seemed appropriate to dedicate our new mud kitchen to him.”

Meghann Somerset, Manager at Sickleholme Service Station commented: “As a business we serve people from across the country as they travel through the Peak District, however, we strive to support our local community as much as possible and want to see Bamford continue to thrive.  We know that Bamford Pre-school does some great work and so we wanted to show our support this year by naming them as our chosen charity.  The mud kitchen is fantastic and a worthy project that has honoured a local man, who did so much for community and we hope will encourage the community champions of the future!”