A SOUTHAMPTON pre-school has launched a fundraiser in the hopes of improving its outdoor play area and making it more accessible.

Little Berries Pre-School in Seagarth Lane is a charity-run pre-school which relies on independent funding and fundraising to run.

The pre-school, which cares and educates for all children, including those with special educational needs, is keen to improve its outdoor play area.

But this comes at an estimated cost of £15,000.

Little Berries pre-school practitioner, Emily Weaver said: "The building was built in 2010 and the ground outside was lovely to start off with, but it couldn't withstand the daily use from the children.

"The council installed rubber matting but it looks horrible and in the winter, the children come inside absolutely covered in mud, or dust. The mud has worn away, creating big puddle areas in the winter and a dust-bowl in the summer.

"Despite our best efforts, it’s not a very inspiring place to be.

"I am originally from Kent and I recently visited a park in Maidstone and it had a resin style flooring suitable for all weathers, and that's what we want.

"We haven't got many children with physical disabilities at the nursery, but we want to eventually invite children in wheelchairs to the nursery who can enjoy the whole of our grounds.

"We are hoping to raise money to create an all-weather rubber-resin surface, an area to be covered for the wetter or sunnier days."

The new flooring is expected to cost between £10,000 and £11,000, but the pre-school is also hoping to raise enough money for a new rabbit hutch for their "beloved" rabbits and potentially more play equipment.

Emily said: "We are calling out for any support from companies or people who can help with the outdoor flooring for the nursery.

"Having the outside space to be free to run, play and learn in a safe and inviting environment is important, especially if a child does not have a garden of their own or opportunity to play outside at home.

"A lot of our children live in flats or apartments so pre-school is the only safe space where they can go outside and not worry about cars or strangers.

"I am paid to teach the children, to get them in nature in fresh air and exercising. We give the children to opportunity to play outside every day, no matter the weather. We get the children outside to learn."

To support Little Berries Pre-School, visit www.gofundme.com/f/garden-makeover-for-charity-preschool