In February, the white bridge in front of St Chads Church, Dunholme, was decorated with pink and red Love Locks, all handwritten by members of the community dedicated to a loved one.
Inspired by the Love Lock bridge in Paris, Dunholme Pre-school wanted to transform Dunholme into the village of love by creating their very own Love Lock Bridge, complete with messages for loved ones, friends, family and those no longer with us. With permission from the local parish council, it was hoped that it would bring a sense of joy to the local community, whilst helping to fundraise.
Dunholme Pre-school is a charity run setting, run by a committee of volunteers that give their time and energy to keep the setting open for children ages 2-4 years old. Despite being located within the local primary school grounds, it is completely independent.
Much like so many others, they are currently being affected financially by the rising cost of utilities, the increase in the minimum wage, and the minimum funding received by the government. The pandemic affected their ability to fundraise in the local community for a few years and left them in a position where they needed to increase fundraising efforts.
They are currently fundraising for much needed external cladding to the building, which will help with weatherproofing. They have managed to secure match funding and other financial support based on managing to raise £4,000 this year. If they are unable to raise the funds, the additional funding will not be received.
Whilst fundraising, they want to continue to spread positivity and joy throughout the community, which is how the Love Lock Bridge idea arose in time for Valentine’s Day.
Local businesses came forward to help sell the Love Locks, including Barnes Bikes, Dunholme St Chads Church and Welton Sports and Social Club. They also received a donation of £317 by Threshold Church through their Community Café ran every second Sunday of the month at Welton Village Hall.
Having received praise from the community, Dunholme Pre-school now intend to hold the event every year and hope that it grows in popularity.
Ashleigh Stamp, Dunholme Pre-school Committee Secretary said: “We would like to thank the local community for all their continued support, the kindness that they show and for keeping Dunholme Pre-School close to their hearts. We would also like to thank Dunholme Parish Council for the positivity and support towards our fundraising ideas.”
“I would also like to publicly thank the chair of the pre-school committee Sarah Storr, who works incredibly hard in her position (alongside holding a full-time job and being a parent), to ensure that the children at Dunholme Pre-school get the best start to their educational journey, in an environment that feels like a family.”