Bolton Low Houses Childcare Unit in Wigton has reopened its doors following the COVID-19 pandemic and unveiled its new outdoor classroom, providing a lifeline to many families in the rural area of West Cumbria who have been unable to access vital childcare during this time.

The reopening has been helped by a generous donation from the UK’s largest integrated forestry business, BSW Timber, who gifted the childcare provider with Timeless decking to assist with the construction of its exciting new outdoor classroom.

Diane Farrell, manager at Bolton Low Houses Childcare Unit, said: “Words cannot express how thankful we are for the kind donation of wood materials from BSW Timber.

“As a charitable organisation and following COVID-19, we have struggled to continue to offer many families in the rural area of West Cumbria childcare, but thanks to this wonderful donation we have been able to re-open our lovely rural childcare unit.

“The donation has allowed us to create an outdoor classroom, enclosed wooden sandpit and wooden shelter, all of which are vital for the children to play outdoors during this ongoing pandemic.”

John Hunter, a local retired joiner, was responsible for the construction of the outdoor space and made the initial contact with BSW Timber to ask for their support. This collaborative effort from BSW Timber and John and two other local volunteers, who have worked on the outdoor classroom completely free of charge, has resulted in a fantastic outdoor space for the children to thrive.

James Brennan, marketing manager at BSW Timber, said: “It really is our pleasure to have been able to support the construction of Bolton Low Houses Childcare Unit’s new outdoor classroom.

“At BSW we have a commitment to making a positive contribution to the communities in which we operate, particularly as many of those communities are rurally situated, so when John got in touch to ask for our support we were delighted to help.

“Hearing the feedback from Diane and seeing the children enjoying their new space makes it all the more worthwhile.”

Diane added: “I am extremely grateful to BSW Timber and John and his team, Jake Williams and Alex Taylor, all of whom have worked tirelessly for free.

“Their donation and hard work are now being enjoyed by our lovely children in our nursery which is wonderful to see.”