ENGLAND rugby union coach Steve Borthwick joined villagers in Yatton Keynell on Saturday to celebrate the launch of Bybrook Pre-school.

The launch event, during which more than 100 people were welcomed to the village hall, was celebrating the transformation of Yatton Keynell under 5s into Bybrook Pre-school.

A raffle and silent auction, which included a round of golf for two at the Manor House Golf Club in Castle Combe, raised £800 for the new pre-school.

Jonathan Philpott, chairman of the pre-school management committee, said: “It was absolutely brilliant. We reckon we had about 150 to 200 people come which was amazing.

“We raised over £800 which was phenomenal. Like all pre-schools, money is very tight.

“The fundraising was not the primary aim, it was trying to engage with the community but £800 is an amazing amount of money there was fantastic support from local organisations with that.

“We have been working at it for five or six months. So far the visits to the school have been good. There’s a lot of confidence that the relationship can be a good one.”

The Yatton Keynell under 5s has been running in the village since the 1970s.

The Marshfield Brass Band provided entertainment while there were plenty of activities for children including junk modelling.

“We’re not part of the school but a lot of the children do end up over there," Mr Philpott added

“We are developing a good working relationship with them to make sure the children have the best preparation for when they arrive there."

Despite preparations for the Six Nations, England forwards coach took time out of his coaching schedule to re-launch the pre-school.

“He’s well aware of the pre-school and well aware of the work we do. He was spot on with what he said about supporting our local facilities to make sure they will be here in 10 to 20 years.

“We also launched a new friends of the pre-school group and invited people, if they wanted to, to get news and, when there are fundraising events, we can email and get a slightly wider people for the fundraising."

To become a Friend of Bybrook Pre-School email committee@bybrookpreschool.co.uk