Beard off for charity

A SPONSORED beard-shaving event was today described as a success with more than £300 raised to help run the Open Gate Pre School Playgroup.But the charity say they face a constant battle to stay in business and are having to do more fundraising to survive.

A SPONSORED beard-shaving event was today described as a success with more than £300 raised to help run the Open Gate Pre School Playgroup.

But the charity say they face a constant battle to stay in business and are having to do more fundraising to survive.

Group treasurer Glenn Day, 33, had his beard shaved off as part of a day that also included jumble, tabletop and car boot sales and raised a total of £329.17. An Easter egg hunt has also recently been held and made an estimated £170.

The Open Gate Pre School Playgroup, based in Felixstowe Road, caters for children from two years old to school age in the south-east Ipswich area. They aim to encourage children to mix with others of a similar age, to promote learning, prepare them for school and to introduce them to new toys and crafts

Amanda Fellgett, 35, chairwoman of the playgroup, was pleased with the day. She said: "We need to raise money and financially we are looking for ways to keep open.

"We offer a great service but we rely on fees and funding and it is a very tight ship that we run.

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"Glenn was a great sport. I have known him for six and a half years and he has always had his beard but everyone is saying how young he looks.

"The day went better than expected because we raised more money than I thought we would do.

"We only open for 33 weeks a year and we cannot afford to open any more weeks than that.

"We need a playgroup and we are giving those children something that is not available everywhere. It is great that the community want to support such a good cause."

Their next fundraiser is a Barnardo's Toddle event to be held at Gainsborough Sports Centre in June.

For more information about the playgroup, contact Amanda Fellgett on 01473 273821 or look at their website at www.opengateplaygroup.org

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