Edzell Pre-School Playgroup had a double whammy of bad luck when they returned from the Christmas Holiday break.
Not only had the roof of their shed which stores their equipment leaked over the festive period, but mice had also found their way into the shed and destroyed a large volume of their toys, books and resources.
Kim Middleton, the playgroup manager, estimates that several hundred pounds worth of the children’s precious things have been destroyed by either the damp from the leak or the mouse infestation.
In addition every single salvaged item had to be removed from the shed and cleaned for infection control.
Black bags of books have had to be skipped along with beautiful puppets used for story sessions and every art and craft item.
They have been left with not even a scrap of white paper to draw on. Expensive soft foam gym equipment was also chewed by the vermin and had to be disposed of.
Upon hearing of their plight, Edzell resident Francis Urquhart has kindly donated an overwhelming £255 to the playgroup from funds which she raised from selling calendars locally in the run up to Christmas. Francis chooses a local charity annually to donate the earnings to.
Playgroup treasurer, Lee Ann Waddell, said: “This very generous donation has taken some of the stress away from the bad luck felt by the group.
“The playgroup relies heavily on fund-raising just for the day-to-day running costs and any additional costs such as these would simply swallow up this money and take it away from benefitting the children.
“The money donated should cover the cost of repair materials and the remainder will be used to purchase sealed storage boxes to help eliminate similar problems in the future.”
Other members of the community have also come to the rescue to help the small group recover from this set-back.
Local roofer Eric Dalgarno of E.L.D Roofing has also kindly offered to replace the shed roof for the playgroup, free of charge.
Lee Ann continued: “The shed roof had been patched previously by kind volunteers, but Eric’s generous offer means that we can feel assured that the job will be done correctly this time and it will definitely be leak proof.”
Edzell Parish Church have generously allowed the group store their salvaged equipment inside the small hall until they can have the shed repaired and sealed again.
Parents have also either spent many mornings at the hall cleaning every item - to insure their safety for use again by the children, or took home boxes of toys to clean.
Lee Ann added: “It is wonderful to see how much the community rallies around in times of need. It has been a very stressful time, but all the generosity has helped alleviate this slightly.
“We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who has helped in some way.”
The group would still welcome donations of arts and crafts materials, such as paper (coloured and white) and items that may be lying around unused which the children could use during art sessions, such as reels of ribbon or buttons, etcetera. They can be dropped off from Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. to 12 noon at Edzell Parish Church Hall.