Scotland

Army Community Lends A Helping Hand To Reopen Edinburgh Pre-School

The pre-school doubled the size of its outdoor learning space, giving the children more opportunity for socially-distanced play.

An Edinburgh pre-school has been able to reopen thanks to help from the city's Army garrison.

Dreghorn Pre-School, which is in the married quarters of Dreghorn Barracks and caters for children of military families, was left empty for months due to the coronavirus lockdown.

But members of the local Army community have helped it to reopen.

In response to the pandemic, the outdoor learning space has doubled in size after it was extended into the Military Police station next door, allowing the pre-school to open at full capacity.

Extra hand-washing stations have also been installed for the children to use, while an additional learning space has also been created to help with social distancing.

Lily Murphy, a parent, praised the support offered by the school to the military family.

"It's really nice, it's always been a support for us, like before all of this happened even," she said.

Extra hand-washing stations have been put in across the extended play area.

"Especially when my husband's been away it has been really nice and the children here, they have a really good relationship with the staff and they've missed it."

Lieutenant Colonel Hugo Clark, Edinburgh Garrison Commander, said facilities such as the pre-school are vital for families in the forces.

"It's crucially important for forces families that pre-school education is good because we don't have access to the extended family that most normal families have," he told Forces News.

"You can't call on grandmother to come and take care of the children when spouses go out to work, or when their serving partner goes away on deployment. 

"We're really rather left high and dry, so facilities like this are absolutely critical for forces families."