THE dream of revamping the rundown play areas of a Basingstoke nursery have moved a step closer to becoming reality – thanks to the efforts of staff at a Chineham-based company.

Staff from logistics firm Gist Limited rolled up their sleeves and gave up a day to rip out overgrown hedges, dig a vegetable patch, and plant hundreds of bulbs at Star Nursery, in Chiltern Way.

Up to 15 volunteers helped the not-for-profit nursery towards its goal of creating a sensory garden and new play area for the 69 children, aged between two months and five.

Gist’s chief executive Martin Gwynn said: “It is good for our people to help out in the local community. We try to do a lot with charity, but it is nicer to do it where there is a local need. The work that they do here is excellent.”

Star Nursery manager Dru Hawthorn said that overhauling the garden had long been one of nursery’s main aims.

“Getting this help has been tremendous,” she said. “Staff just don’t have the time to put towards the garden. Having help like this is a real boost. The kids are excited. Now they will be able to dig, and grow things, and learn from it as well.”