Financial crisis for Pre-School
The women who run a Stanground Pre-School say there would be a 'hole in the community' if it was forced to close because of an alleged £10,000 theft.
Nicky Mawby is the supervisor of St Michael's on Mace Road, which currently looks after 54 children.
She says their seven staff are working for free at the moment whilst they try and raise enough money to stabilise their finances:
"After the tears, the shock, the horror of it all, they've all pulled together, which has been fantastic.
"It's not just a job - it's not something where you just go in and go home again - it's with us throughout our lives. It's a passion."
An independent auditor noticed the alleged theft on February 5 and the police were immediately called in.
"We opened up as normal because that's what we're there for, for the children, " says Nicky. "Staff are still devastated, they really can't believe it - but we're determined to keep going."
Current and former parents of children at the pre-school have been dropping off snacks and supplies, and the Whittle Way pub in Stanground donated the proceeds of a charity auction to them.
A fundraising disco is planned for the Powerleague Centre in Stanground College on March 12, and one supporter has even offered to do a sponsored parachute jump to help.
Nicky says having to close would be devastating:
"When you see those children who have started school years on, and they run up to you and they're so happy to see you, that does mean such a lot - you do think 'we've done well there' because they're happy, they've grown in confidence.
It would be a big, big shame if we were forced to close - a real hole in the community."
A 47 year old woman is due to appear in court on Friday - charged with theft by an employee.
Anyone who can help out is invited to come and visit St Michael's Church Hall on Mace Road in Stanground in person, or to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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