THE Bishop of Ramsbury, the Rt Rev Dr Andrew Rumsey, has formally opened the new clubhouse at Chilton Foliat Primary School.

The school and local community, including contractors, benefactors, fundraisers and alumni of the school, who raised over £85,000 to help complete the Community Clubhouse project, gathered at a packed St Mary’s Church for the service of thanksgiving and praise.

Pupils at the school raised more than £1,000 for the project with initiatives including Grow your Fiver. The scheme saw pupils devising imaginative ways to make their Fiver ‘grow’, including craft and cake sales and a pop up shop. Additional fundraising by the children consisted of sponsored runs and asking tooth fairy and pocket money donations.

The Chilton Foliat Community Association, which administers the Clubhouse and pioneered the fundraising for the building, also received a grant of over £9,000 from National Lottery Awards for All to kit it out with new furniture, kitchen appliances and kitchenware.

Picnic tables, outdoor games and a wooden shed will be bought for its garden in the spring, providing pleasure for young and old, both indoors and out.

The Clubhouse currently houses Chilton Club Childcare which runs the school’s Early Birds Club, After School Club and Holiday Club. The space is available for use by the local community.

It is hoped that it won’t be long before a toddler group can be also be hosted in the village again, as well as more activities for the senior members of the community.

With easy access to the outdoor recreational space created by the new housing development being built next to the school, it is anticipated that opportunities for sport clubs will materialise over time too.

“We are hugely grateful to the school, local community and many generous contributors for all their hard work and enthusiasm in fundraising for the Clubhouse, which is a fantastic resource for all,” said Sam Wolcough, chairman of governors at Chilton Foliat Primary School and trustee of Chilton Foliat Community Association.

“The service of thanks was a fantastic way to celebrate this and to also acknowledge the work and dedication of the contractors, who went above and beyond to ensure that the classroom was operational for the start of the school year.”