People Power


This month there is no one individual who is the subject for Hampshire People, but rather it is about the people of Hampshire who, when they put their minds to it (and indeed their backs into it) can achieve the most extraordinary things.

There are of course many long established charitable groups across the county doing fantastic work helping and supporting others.
But sometimes when one person has a wish, an idea, that once discussed is like throwing a stone into a pond with ripples going out imbuing people with the same dream; it is destined to become a reality.

Some ideas are rejected because they seem simply too difficult to achieve, but some people are willing to face those difficulties head on and surmount them.
For example when Cherry Tree Pre School Manager. Jo Ferguson, was told her idea would take five years to come to fruition, she simply said,
‘No, we’ll do it five months.’

Cherry Tree had been housed in a village hall since before 1982 and as the demands on childcare provision and education changed and became increasingly complex and exacting, that space became under stress.

“We needed more space, a better professional and child centred permanent home for Cherry Tree with a garden for outdoor education and play. Next to the cricket pavilion in Cheriton was a dilapidated Scout Hut, it was perfect for our relocation plan”.

What followed over the following months sounds easy – Cherry Tree Pre School were able to obtain the scout hut and convert it into a state of the art pre school.
The reality of that process was nothing short of miraculous for the building required much more than a simple lick of paint.
While Cherry Tree formed a very proficient sub committee to deal exclusively with the management and fund raising aspects of the project it was clear the task would take both brains and brawn. Jo remembers one October weekend in 2012, the very start of the build,
“It was so emotional and such hard work! I really didn’t expect the number of people that came- so many parents both past and present. We stripped out the inside of the hut- walls, doors, ceiling, plumbing, and electrics everything! Plus the cladding on the outside and the roof! We filled so many skips everyone was totally exhausted but we all felt amazing!”

Within the many enthusiastic parents involved with the relocation there were PR and Marketing professionals and phenomenal fundraisers who, as well as a successfully applying for a Lottery Funding, raised the majority of the £30.000 needed to complete the project.
Twenty-six local businesses, craftsmen and charities all donated time, expertise and commodities.
Each and every person was so important to the whole and have been thanked whole-heartedly, as they are again here.

The dream to relocate Cherry Tree Pre School to it’s permanent home in Cheriton came to fruition in just seven months and now, once again thanks to the generosity of Hampshire charities and business people, the pre school has a beautiful garden.

The message is clear, people do pull together, everyone has a talent they can offer which enable extraordinary things to be achieved.

So if you have a dream, throw your stone into the pond and watch the ripples affect those people around you; good people generous people. Hampshire People.