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Bishop of Southampton officially opens Launchpads Pre-school's new yurt in Boldre



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A NEW Forest preschool's new yurt had a special VIP to officially open it when the Bishop of Southampton called round.

Launchpads in Boldre welcomed the Right Rev. Debbie Sellin, who said it was a joy to see the children discovering the world.

The bespoke yurt is surrounded by woodland in the grounds of William Gilpin CofE School.

From left: Jane Dyke, Liz McCarthy, Andrew Robinson, Rev Nick Ralph and Bishop Debbie
From left: Jane Dyke, Liz McCarthy, Andrew Robinson, Rev Nick Ralph and Bishop Debbie

It has been designed to give tots an "environment in which they can learn and play while being inspired by the natural world around them".

Launchpads, one of three early years settings developed by the Diocese of Winchester’s Social Enterprise, was set up in 2019 and was founded on a Christian ethos.

Bishop of Southampton the Right Rev. Debbie Sellin at Lanchpads Pre-school in Boldre
Bishop of Southampton the Right Rev. Debbie Sellin at Lanchpads Pre-school in Boldre

Bishop Debbie said: “The new yurt and the rural location make a wonderful setting in which young people can play and learn at the same time.

"The early years education that Launchpads offers is helping children to be kind, confident and inquisitive."

Children also have access to three garden areas: one for gardening and wildlife, and another for building dens and exploring sand and water.

Bishop Debbie with one of the pre-school's youngsters
Bishop Debbie with one of the pre-school's youngsters

The third is being developed into into a "communication friendly space" where children can develop a sense of responsibility in caring for the environment and each other.

Nick Ralph, director of the Diocese of Winchester’s social enterprise, said: "Our focus at Launchpads is to provide safe, secure and happy environments where we can nurture and inspire children – the new yurt at Boldre offers just that."



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