Our Club President’s Charity for this year is Little Birds Pre-School and Jodie and Jude from the charity came to speak to us this week.
Little Birds is based at St Mark’s School in Swanage and looks after up to 21 children aged 2 to 5 years old at each session. They look after a variety of children from different backgrounds, including those from families in poverty and on low income as well as children who are classed as vulnerable and with special needs.
The children receive 15 hours of schooling a week and this is partly funded by Government, but at age 3 the funding drops dramatically despite the fact that the children still need the same levels of funding and support.
The school provides everything that you would imagine children of that age should be entitled to, including proper meals, clean clothes and activities. The school also builds relationships with the families of the children that they are seeing.
The school has received an ‘Outstanding’ rating in its latest OFSTED visit which is a remarkable achievement.
Jodie and Jude are clearly passionate about their work and their dedication to the children that they are working with came across very clearly. The funding that they receive from Government and the County Council / Local Authority is no where near sufficient on its own to enable them to continue to provide the service that they do, so other fundraising is very important.
There were a lot of questions from the floor to what has been a very thought provoking presentation. On behalf of the club, Rotarian Deirdre Selwyn thanked Jodie and Jude for coming to see us and explaining how the pre-school works.
More information can be found on the charity’s website, via the link above.