Pirate ship docks on Deepings school field after huge fundraising effort

The new equipment at William Hildyard School
The new equipment at William Hildyard School

Youngsters at a Deeping primary school are finding their sealegs at breaktimes, thanks to the efforts of the PTFA.

A three-year fundraising drive by the parents’ group at William Hildyard Primary School came to fruition with the installation of a large wooden pirate ship for the children to play on.

“It has been an incredible effort all round,” said PTFA chairman Amanda Vickers.

“The headteacher asked for some new outside equipment about three years ago. What we had then had been there for some time and school funding could not cover its replacement, so the PTFA took it on. We are constantly fundraising - it is surprising what does not get paid for by school funding -and there is always something needed.”

Christmas and summer fairs, discos, bingo sessions, raffles, competitions and car boot sales have all boosted the coffers over the three years of fundraising.

Mrs Vickers added: “This year we also ran a few external stalls - such as at the Deepings Carnival – because we were aware you cannot keep asking parents to dig deep every time.

“But parents have been great, and we have been very lucky with local businesses donating prizes for raffles and so on. This has been a long process and it will be nice to get on with funding something smaller in future.”

She added: “When work started the children didn’t know what was going on, but were told to keep away. As the ship took shape there was a lot of excitement. They were so excited when it opened that the school had to limit how much time each group could use it so everyone could have a turn.”

In addition to the pirate ship, target boards for games in the Key Stage 1 playground, and a science board for the Key Stage 2 playground, were also installed, all at a cost of more than £20,000 met by the PTFA and some match-funding.