CHILDREN in Holt dressed up as their favourite film and comic characters on Saturday to help raise more than £6,500 for a new pre-school building.

They accompanied their parents and staff from Holt Pre-school on a 5k walk to raise cash towards the £150,000 they need to replace their existing facilities next to Holt Primary School.

Fundraising committee member Anna Mundell said: "We have had a fantastic response but it's just the tip of the iceberg.

"We need to raise £150,000 to provide a new building for the pre-school, which started 53 years ago."

Around 20 families could be seen walking far and wide across the hills and down the lanes in and around the village of Holt.

Each family bubble walked their own 5k route to collectively clock up a marathon.

Participants went to town in fancy dress with a starting line to rival a Disney carnival - parents, children and staff dressed up as characters from Toy Story and Frozen as well as trolls, Smurfs, elves, dinosaurs, princesses and superheroes. Even Father Christmas put in an appearance.

Spirits were high and a fantastic time was had by all.

Karen Tripp, Holt Pre-school Leader said: “All the staff are immensely proud of our pre-schoolers for their outstanding effort today.

"They have done so well to complete the 5k challenge and we are so very grateful for all the donations.”

The walk was raised awareness, and essential funds to replace the pre-school's existing building which has reached the end of its life.

Like many early years settings which have been severely affected by COVID-19, the pre-school is experiencing some difficult financial times.

As a not-for-profit organisation they are especially reliant on money from fundraising activities, not only to provide all children with a full and vibrant early years’ experience but also to carry out essential maintenance on the declining building.

They do not charge any top-up fees for any of the much-loved trips, wish days, parties or picnics that are organised for the children.

Mrs Tripp said they are committed to being fully inclusive and to ensure that all the children are given equal opportunities.The pre-school is at the heart of the village community, with most of its children feeding into the village’s one primary school. Staff at Holt Pre-school work tirelessly to provide all children with a warm, nurturing and fun education but the building is in much need of replacement.Kate Buckrell, business manager for Holt Pre-school, said: “I am absolutely delighted with the fundraising efforts of our pre-school community today. We still have a long way to go though.The figure needed to replace the building and to secure the pre-school for future generations is £150,000.

"To lose the pre-school would be a severe blow to the village so we are doing all we can to raise these funds.”

If you know of an organisation that may be able to help, then please direct them to the Holt Pre-school fundraising webpage

Donations for the new building are being taken via a justgiving page.