JOHN and Debbie Williams, who run John Williams Heating Services in Chippenham, have sponsored a dishwasher and uniforms for a specialist pre-school struggling with Covid restrictions and lockdown.

Springboard is a specialist preschool for children aged two to five-years-old with special educational needs and disability.

Staff have been kitted out in new fleeces, jackets and polo tops thanks to the donation.

Debbie said: “We have always sponsored worthy causes in the community and we often sponsor community events, sadly most of them have not gone ahead over the last year. We decided the pandemic was not going to stop us helping out where we could.

“Springboard does such a vital, yet often hidden, role in our community and trying to do that job with the added challenge of Covid19 and trying to keep everyone safe has been very, very difficult. It was a chance conversation which led us to approach the staff at Springboard to ask what help they might need at this time.”

Anne Farrell, finance officer for the school, said: “The uniform was desperately needed due to new protocols introduced due to Covid19. We needed to ensure staff had plenty of uniform changes to maintain the high hygiene standards needed for a safe environment.

“Staff are usually given two tops and one fleece when they start work at Springboard. It was impractical for staff to wash and dry repeatedly every night for wearing the following day. The purchase of extra uniform was not in our budget. The cancellation of planned fundraising events and a reduced income was making it difficult to buy the additional uniform.”

Office staff also received a jacket which is windproof and showerproof for use when meeting and greeting families outside at the gate, at the start and end of each session.

“The dishwasher has been on our wish list for a quite a while but was becoming a real necessity. Previously all food utensils were hand washed but with Covid19 toys also need more cleaning and sterilising. The dishwasher is more efficient and economic promoting greater hygiene but more importantly allowing us to spend more time with the children and their families,” Anne said.

“We really value the support from John and Debbie Williams it’s greatly appreciated. We are a local independent charity and strive to make a difference for the children and families that need us. We would welcome conversations from any individuals or businesses whom could help us today and give our families hope for tomorrow.”