Youngsters helped create a new play area

FOLLOWING our Nostalgia features on the cheque presentations by Lavinia, Duchess of Norfolk (see above left), Mrs Margaret Matthews sent in a copy of an article showing where some of the money was spent.

Youngsters at the Rose Wilmot Centre help a youth leader to put up fencing at the new play area

Mrs Matthews, of Boundary Way, East Preston, was the supervisor at Rose Wilmot Community Playgroup back in 1977.

The playgroup was started by Mrs Matthews, with assistant supervisor Mrs S. Smart and assistant Mrs Gill Cotten, in September, 1976.

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She received a cheque for £400 for an outside play area during the presentations made at Arundel Park in August, 1977.

Work began on the fenced area in Littlehampton Road, Durrington, in May the following year, under the supervision of her husband, David Matthews, and Dennis Strudwick, youth worker at the centre.

Young people from the centre helped to put up the posts for the fencing.

They included youth leader Frank Smith, Anthony Feild, Mark Hotchkiss, Steven Meriot, Mick Menday, Colin Hunt, Jeffrey Mansfield, Perry Gardener. Steve Webster and Bob Paine.

When the group first started, a rummage sale was held to raise funds for equipment, and other equipment was either donated or loaned while the playgroup found its feet.

At first, the playgroup operated only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, but owing to its popularity, it soon expanded to open on Thursday mornings as well.

Two more assistants, Mrs Sheila Mays and Mrs M. Dolman, later joined the group.

The group took 24 children each morning between the ages of three and five years.

All the equipment needed was bought through fund-raising activities arranged by the staff and playgroup committee. All the staff attended the Pre-school Playgroup Association courses in the Worthing area.