Damage caused by a disastrous lockdown flood results in a transformational makeover for a Banbury area playgroup

Massive damaged caused by a flood during the first 2020 lockdown has ended up in a big celebration for King's Sutton playgroup nearly two years later.

By Roseanne Edwards
Tuesday, 18th January 2022, 3:30 pm
The bright and cheery interior of King's Sutton Playgroup after its renovation
The bright and cheery interior of King's Sutton Playgroup after its renovation

The emergency presented the voluntary committee of the playgroup with a big challenge as they faced raising thousands of pounds to put matters right.

However the goodwill of families, the village and some very supportive businesses has meant the playgroup has been able to begin 2022 with a transformed space for play and education.

Chairman of the playgroup committee, Emma Brock, said: "We have done a lot of fundraising and have been donated seeds and plants from people in the village as well as from Martin and Debbie Shaw from the village gardening company.

Sign up to our daily Banbury Guardian Today newsletter

The playgroup flooded with water on May 18, 2020. Supporters have raised many thousands of pounds to put the building and gardens to rights

"We want to say a very big thank you to TGM Landscaping who have transformed both our gardens at a very reduced rate as their donation. All the internal work and the building damage was covered by school's insurance but we've had a huge amount of support from the community for the rest of the work and we are incredibly grateful."

The playgroup has had its roof replaced and the building has been cladded. The rear garden has been cleared and redesigned and a new sensory garden has been established. There are also new patio doors to the garden areas.

The fundraising team set up a Just Giving page which raised £5,275 and a family with a child at the playgroup donated a further £4,500 from a sponsored run. At Christmas 2020 the group held a Christmas trail and a festive raffle,

In the past year the group held a Tropics makeup evening and a Smarties fundraiser to add to the fund. And generous Funky Pants ran a special session for the preschool raising a further £300. Add to that the proceeds of a 'sponsored ale' at the local pub, The Butcher's Arms, and three years of scarecrow festivals and the committee had enough to pay for the extensive works.

With help from a village landscaping company the King's Sutton Playgroup reclaimed a 'lost' garden and have made it a lovely play space

Our before and after photographs show the huge achievement of all those involved.

The playgroup's new garden
An outdoor space with a climbing frame which has been transformed into a sensory garden
The sensory garden - the last of the improvements to take place following the 2020 flood
The outside of King's Sutton Playgroup before the 2020 flood
New roof and new cladding have made the exterior of the playgroup building a much more attractive sight